A-level and AS-level results in Wales will now be determined by the grades predicted by teachers, Welsh Government’s education minister has confirmed.
A peaceful protest took place outside the Senedd on Sunday (August 16), with students and teachers alike demonstrating against the way results had been calculated.
GCSE exam results, which are set to be released this week, will now also be determined by predicted grades.
Ms Williams said: “Working with Qualifications Wales and WJEC, we have sought an approach which provides fairness and balances out differences in the standards applied to judgments in schools.
“Given decisions elsewhere, the balance of fairness now lies with awarding centre-assessment grades [grades predicted by teachers] to students, despite the strengths of the system in Wales.
“I am taking this decision now ahead of results being released this week, so that there is time for the necessary work to take place.
“For grades issued last week, I have decided that all awards in Wales, will also be made on the basis of teacher assessment.
Ms Williams also confirmed that any students who received higher grades than they were predicted, will keep the higher grade.
She added: “These have been exceptional circumstances, and in due course I will be making a further statement on an independent review of events following the cancellation of this year’s exams.
Similar u-turns have already been announced in Northern Ireland and Scotland, with England following suit shortly after the announcement in Wales.
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Hayley McCallion, head of sixth form at St Martin’s Comprehensive School in Caerphilly, said the u-turn was “such a massive relief”.
Ms McCallion said: “The results were really disappointing, unfair and not reflective of the work put in.
“Teachers spent a lot of time analysing results to make sure they were accurate. It showed a lack of trust in teachers from the government.”
She added: “We knew grades would be standardised, but it was clear that teachers’ professional judgements were not taken into account.”
Caerphilly’s Senedd Member, Hefin David, said “the right decision has been made” and added: “I think we also need over the coming weeks and months to look at how we moderate grades more generally.
“Giving teachers greater responsibility is important, but also requires a change to the current system.
“I want to thank headteachers, parents and students in Caerphilly for getting in touch with me with their views.”
South Wales East Senedd Member Delyth Jewell, who spoke at the protest on Sunday, tweeted: “We did it! Thank you to everyone who came to the protest yesterday and to everyone who’s been in touch with me.
“The government should’ve acted earlier and I know you’ve gone through so much. But this is a time to celebrate.”
Islwyn’s Senedd Member, Rhianon Passmore said she was “grateful” that the education minister had made the decision.
Ms Passmore said: “I thank the young people of Islwyn, their families and their teachers who have made representations to me on this matter. They deserve today’s announcement.”
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