Completed petition Ensure fairness for students taking exams in 2021

As the Education Minister acknowledges, the last few weeks have been exceptionally hard for young people, who have already been disadvantaged by Covid-19. We welcome the Education Minister’s apology. Now it is vital that the Welsh Government takes urgent steps to ensure students due to sit A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and GCSE exams in 2021 are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged.

The planned independent review is very welcome, and we look forward to hearing further details.

More details

In Wales, with AS levels, and more focus on coursework, we have had a solid basis on which to judge students work. However, allowances must be made for the time students have missed in school or college.

It is clear to our members that Welsh Government needs to make changes to next year’s exams to build confidence that the grades awarded, upon which young people’s life chances are determined, properly recognise and reward their achievements.

We also believe that Welsh Government should now focus on:

• Reducing the curriculum content assessed across GCSE, Welsh Bacc and A-level exams next summer, by making some topics optional across all subjects.

• Working with educators and trade unions to develop a Welsh system of moderated centre assessed grades in case there is further disruption to exams next summer.

• Using this opportunity to develop a robust system which ensures young people are rewarded for their achievements and not held back due to their background.

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