Commenting on the announcement today (November 10) that A-Level and GCSE exams in 2021 will not take place, Suzy Davies MS – the Shadow Minister for Education – said:
“The situation was already confused following the review into the 2021 exam season in Wales by Qualifications Wales that called for some exams to go ahead, while a second independent review commissioned by the Welsh Government is calling for exams to be scrapped for next year.
“What we have now is a pick-and-mix approach to the two reviews.
“It has been obvious for a while that exams couldn’t take place in any way that was genuinely fair, so that element of the announcement wasn’t unexpected – especially as the Minister chose to trail that information to a Sunday newspaper before telling the elected representatives of the people of Wales on the floor of its Parliament.
“The critical issue for me is that assessments are externally set and externally marked. This will give them some comparability with previous years’ exams and protect teachers against any accusations of unintended bias.
“What worried me about the Welsh Labour-led Government’s commissioned review was the level of additional work teachers would have to take on at a time when they are catching up through Covid and grappling with the new curriculum.
“It’s a shame that A-Level students won’t get a chance to sit at least one exam. This will be second year where sixth formers and college students won’t have the experience of sitting exams when they will be competing for university places with others who have.”