Awarding in 2021

In this section you will find all the latest information on how qualification grades will be awarded to learners in Wales in summer 2021.

Approved GCSE, AS and A levels 

Following the Minister for Education’s policy direction on the assessment approach for Summer 2021, we have confirmed that we will change our regulations for approved GCSE, AS and A levels in Wales to allow grades to be determined by schools and colleges. 

We know that teachers in schools and colleges are eager to know what they need to do to award qualifications in summer 2021. We have published our first document providing them with guidance for alternative arrangements for the award of approved GCSE, AS and A levels. Further guidance will be published shortly. 

We are also keeping learners and their parents informed of all developments. Letters are sent to learners via their schools and local authorities, and copies can also be found in our information for learners section. 

If you are a learner, teacher or parent, you can also visit our frequently asked questions page. There is information here for Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 learners and for private candidates studying for GCSE, AS and A levels. It also includes up to date information about vocational qualifications. 

Vocational qualifications  (VQs) 

The approach to awarding vocational qualifications in Wales this summer has been confirmed. Most vocational qualifications available in Wales are also available in England and Northern Ireland. Qualifications Wales works with fellow regulators– Ofqual in England and CCEA in Northern Ireland - to ensure a common experience for learners in Wales. 

Ofqual has announced the way forward for awarding vocational qualifications following their recent consultation. It provides clarity on what the approach to assessing and awarding the different types of vocational qualifications will be in Wales, England and Northern Ireland. 

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. 

Ofqual is currently consulting on regulatory arrangements for the awarding of vocational and technical and other general qualifications in 2020-2021. We aim to align approaches across nations wherever possible. We will not be consulting separately on the arrangements for vocational qualifications in 2020-21, so we would encourage you to respond to the Ofqual consultation to make your voice heard. The consultation closes on 11 March 2021.