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Statement by Louise Casella, Chair of the Independent Review Panel on Qualifications in Wales

The Education Minister’s announcement today on exams and qualifications in 2021 in Wales is very welcome. 

The Minister’s decision puts fairness to learners paramount and reflects the unique circumstances that continue to disrupt the educational experiences and personal lives of those facing assessment for qualifications in 2021.

The decision that centre based outcomes for all qualifications are the best way forward in Wales ensures that learners can spend the greatest time possible with their teachers and lecturers, building their knowledge and their confidence to progress on with the next stages of their lives. 

The Independent Review Panel heard from thousands of learners, their parents, supporters, schools and colleges detailing their concerns about the uneven impact Covid-19 has had on education since March 2020. The panel concluded that it would be difficult to design any kind of exam series in 2021 that could have been delivered with confidence or fully reflected the complexities and difficulties faced by learners throughout Wales. 

The new Design and Delivery Advisory Group announced by the Minister can now bring together those in schools and colleges with those in the qualification bodies to design and put in place robust and trusted teacher managed assessment methods, while learners can be confident that their qualifications in 2021 will properly reward their progress and potential. 

The Independent Review Panel will continue its work towards its final report in December 2020.

The Independent Review Panel’s interim Report to the Education Minister is available here.

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