Awarding in 2021
This section contains the latest information on how approved GCSE, AS and A levels the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate and vocational qualifications will be awarded to learners in Wales in summer 2021.
Approved GCSE, AS and A levels
- We’ve confirmed that we’ll change our regulations for approved GCSE, AS and A levels in Wales to allow grades to be determined by schools and colleges.
- We’ve now published our updated guidance document (published 23 March 2021), which provides information about the alternative arrangements for the award of approved GCSEs, AS and A levels.
- We send regular updates to learners via their schools, colleges and local authorities; you can find copies of these in our information for learners section.
- On our FAQ page, we publish regular updates for Years 10-13 learners, teachers and parents/carers, as well as for private candidates studying for GCSE, AS and A levels. This section also includes up-to-date information about vocational qualifications, as well as details of how to contact awarding bodies.
Vocational qualifications (VQs)
Some vocational qualifications, such as Essential Skills and those in Health and Social Care, and Childcare, are only available in Wales. However, many vocational qualifications taken in Wales are also taken in England and Northern Ireland. For these, we work closely with our fellow regulators (Ofqual in England, and CCEA in Northern Ireland), to make sure that learners’ experience of the qualifications is the same, regardless of where they study.
- On 24 March, Ofqual published its Vocational Qualifications Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) (Conditions, Requirements and Guidance), which will remain in place until at least 31 August 2021. Shortly, we will publish a version of the VCRF that will apply to qualifications delivered in Wales during the same period. The VCRF will replace the Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework that came into effect on 6 October 2020.
- Following its recent consultation, Ofqual has provided clarity on what the approach to assessing and awarding the different types of vocational qualifications will be in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
- Ofqual has published an explainer tool that includes high-level information on the approach for all vocational qualifications, including those available to learners in Wales. More detailed information on the approaches for qualifications that will receive a Centre Determined grade will be available from the awarding bodies over the Easter period.
- The approach to awarding vocational qualifications in Wales this summer has been confirmed. Further information on specific qualifications is available from the relevant awarding bodies on the detailed arrangements for each of their qualifications. Teachers should refer to their awarding body’s website for the latest updates.
You can read our latest communications with learners, centres and the Welsh Government about awarding qualifications in summer 2021 on our Correspondence page.
There is a wealth of information and useful materials available for teachers and lecturers preparing to award centre determined grades this summer on the WJEC website and Welsh Government’s Hwb site.
- WJEC’s site has an area to help teachers engage and inspire learners with a range of free learning and teaching tools and resources. It can be accessed at the following link - WJEC: https://www.wjec.co.uk/home/assessments-2021-get-the-support-you-need/
- Welsh Government’s Hwb website has a section on centre determined grades, including exemplars of approaches - https://hwb.gov.wales/professional-development/centre-determined-grades-for-schools-and-colleges-exemplars-of-approaches/