Wales cancel all GCSE and A-Level exams for 2021
10 November 2020, 12:57 | Updated: 10 November 2020, 13:04
GCSE and A-Level exams will not go ahead next year in a bid to 'ensure fairness across the system'.
Wales has cancelled all their GCSE and A-Level exams for 2021.
The news was announced by the Welsh education minister, Kirsty Williams, who said the "primary reason" for her decision was "down to fairness" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: "The well-being of learners and ensuring fairness across the system is central in our decision-making process.
"In line with the recommendations of both Qualifications Wales and the Independent Review, there will be no exams for GCSE or AS level learners next year. A-level students will also not be required to sit exams.
"We remain optimistic that the public heath situation will improve, but the primary reason for my decision is down to fairness; the time learners will spend in schools and colleges will vary hugely and, in this situation, it is impossible to guarantee a level playing field for exams to take place."
Kirsty Williams went on to add that Universities in Wales had been consulted over the changes, and that they are "used to accepting many different types of qualifications".
She said that cancelling exams provides time for teaching and learning to continue through the summer term, and will be a time to "build knowledge, skills and confidence".
Today I’m pleased to confirm Wales’ approach for qualifications in 2021.— Kirsty Williams (@wgmin_education) November 10, 2020
It is my intention there will be no end of year GCSEs, AS levels or A levels exams.
Full details available here: https://t.co/1Bzc4pHJG7 pic.twitter.com/HZXNoInlJl
Qualification Wales have since responded to the announcement, saying: "We recognise this has been a difficult decision and there are no easy answers. We are considering the decision and what it could mean in practice."
Exams in England have not been cancelled, however, with ministers giving students an extra three weeks to prepare for their GCSE or A-Levels.
Today Downing Street said their choice on exams in 2021 had not changed.