Schools have now received an initial response from Qualifications Wales (the body responsible for overseeing examinations in Wales) on their plans for the awarding of grades to pupils following the Welsh Government decision to cancel the summer 2020 examinations.

Qualifications Wales will be working with WJEC to establish the fairest way to award grades for GCSE, A Level and Skills Challenge Certificate qualifications.

They state that even though they do not have all the answers yet as to how this will exactly work out in practice, they have made the following statement:

“Grades for GCSE and A level qualifications in 2020 will be calculated using a range of evidence. They will be based on a combination of factors which may include marks for work completed to date, for example AS results for A level grades, and standardised teacher assessed grades.   

Teacher assessed grades will be based on what teachers would expect a learner to achieve at the end of the course. They need to represent a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely grade that might be achieved in normal circumstances. This is a professional judgement based on the combined assessment information held for that learner and will be a holistic judgement rather than focusing on a single source of evidence like mock examinations. These are not target grades or aspirational grades and are not related to performance measures, which have been suspended for this year by Welsh Government”.

They go on to say that given the importance of GCSE, A level and Skills Challenge Certificate results for the future progress of young people in all walks of life, they will be prioritising these qualifications.  They are not planning to issue grades for AS Levels or for individual units taken by Year 10 learners in the same way as for those qualifications described above.  For these learners, they will be looking at a variety of options including the “opportunity to sit exams in subsequent exam series”.  They will provide more details on this when they can.

They are still considering the fairest way to issue grades for learners who are studying vocational qualifications such as BTEC’s.  As these types of qualifications are offered across the UK they are working with other regulators, exam boards and governments across the UK to ensure fairness and consistency.  More detail on this will be shared when it is available.

An important part of the work that is currently being carried out by Qualifications Wales is to agree, through cooperation with relevant bodies, the date on which these results will be released.  They have also confirmed that due to the nature of the way that these results are being awarded this year, there will be no review of marking in the normal way (i.e. no re-marks etc.).

They have assured schools that they understand how unsettling this period is for schools, parents and of course pupils and will seek to provide more clarity as soon as possible.