Statement on summer 2020 approach to AS levels and Year 10 learners in Wales - 27 March 2020

Last week the decision was taken to close schools and cancel all of this summer’s exams. We explained how GCSEs and A level grades will be awarded.

Today we can outline the way forward for learners who were due to sit their AS levels and Year 10 learners who would have taken unit assessments in Wales this summer. Next week we will update on other qualifications.

AS levels

In Wales, AS levels are not only stand-alone qualifications, but also contribute to A level qualifications - AS units are usually taken in Year 12 and A2 units in Year 13. Because of the contribution that AS outcomes make towards A level results, it has been important for us, Welsh Government and WJEC to take time to fully consider the implications for A level qualifications in summer 2021.

Following a detailed consideration of the options available and the advice that we provided, the Minister has today decided that learners who were due to sit their AS exams this year will not be required to take those exams at a later date. Instead they will be treated in a similar way to those taking GCSEs and A levels.

This year all AS learners will receive an AS grade and there will be no AS exams until summer 2021. The grade awarded will be based on a range of evidence, including teacher assessed grades, and will not contribute to A level results in 2021.

In summer 2021, AS learners will have two options for their A level award. They can either choose to only sit the A2 units, with the A level grade based on their performance in those units, or they can choose to sit AS and A2 units. If they choose to sit the AS units alongside the A2 units they will be awarded the best grade from either route.

Year 10 learners

Year 10 learners who were due to sit exams that would have led to a whole GCSE qualification this summer will be issued a grade following the same process as Year 11 learners. Teacher assessed grades and other evidence will be used to calculate a grade.

Year 10 learners who were due to sit units that will lead to GCSE results next summer, will not receive a unit result. For those learners, there will be two options. They can choose to sit only the units they plan to take in summer 2021, with their overall GCSE grade calculated on the basis of that performance only.

Alternatively, they can choose to sit the Year 10 units in summer 2021, along with Year 11 units. Whichever option a learner chooses, they will be awarded the best grade from either route.

Further guidance

For GCSEs, AS, A levels and the Skills Challenge Certificate teacher assessed grades will be collected as part of the evidence for determining final qualification grades. Guidance on these teacher assessed grades will be issued to schools and colleges next week.

Further guidance on non-exam assessments, which would have been at various stages in their completion at the time when schools were closed, has already been issued by WJEC.

Qualifications other than GCSEs, AS and A levels and the Skills Challenge Certificate

We are working hard to confirm the position regarding other types of qualification taken by learners in Wales. For qualifications taken only by learners in Wales we are working closely with awarding bodies and stakeholders to make the right decisions for our learners and will provide an update next week.

For qualifications which are taken by learners across the UK, we are working with fellow UK regulators, awarding bodies and governments to ensure consistency and will share more details as soon as we can.

All of the decisions made are set within a context of unprecedented times for all of us. We know that you are looking for answers to many questions and we are working hard to develop the best solutions possible. Thank you for your patience – we will keep publishing information as it becomes available, so please keep checking our website.