Confidence in the value of GCSEs and A levels remains high - survey

Monday 05 Jul 2021

Public confidence in A levels and GCSEs remains high, with both seen as trusted qualifications and good preparation for further study. 

That’s the main conclusion from the latest survey conducted by Beaufort Research on behalf of Qualifications Wales.   

Opinion was divided on whether fewer examinations should be taken on paper and more on screen, with those aged between 16 to 54 significantly more likely than those aged 55 and over to agree with this statement. 

A majority of the Welsh public felt that everything that 14 to 16-year olds study should lead to a qualification.   

As in previous years there was a preference for learners to study a smaller number of GCSE subjects in more depth rather than a greater number in less detail. 

Three in four Welsh adults were of the view that learners should take between five and 10 GCSE subjects by the age of 16, with only around one in ten in favour of their studying 11 or more subjects.  

The survey results show an increase in awareness of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, with almost 70% of Welsh adults saying they had heard of it compared with 60% in 2019).  

Perceptions of vocational qualifications in Wales were positive, with high levels of endorsement of their value for young people’s futures.   

More generally, the changes to the qualification system and the cancellation of summer examinations in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 do not appear to have had a major impact on public confidence in qualifications in Wales. 

The full publication can be read on the Qualifications Wales website. 

Research