Report is a valued contribution to debate as qualifications consultation nears

Monday 21 Oct 2019

The education report published today by Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe is an important contribution to the national debate, according to independent regulator Qualifications Wales.

Chief Executive Philip Blaker said: “We welcome this report and hope it will encourage further discussions about the future direction of education and qualifications in Wales.”

Produced in collaboration with Professor Calvin Jones of Cardiff University, the Commissioner’s ‘Fit for the Future Education in Wales’ paper published today makes a number of recommendations.

Mr Blaker said: “The new curriculum for Wales gives us a chance to take a fresh look at how the education and qualification system can best serve the future needs of 16-year-olds.

“One of the important questions the report asks is whether in future we should continue to have qualifications taken at 16.

“While recognising that this is ultimately a question for Welsh Government to decide, we believe there’s still a strong case for 16-year-olds to continue to take qualifications that help to prepare and inspire them for life, learning and work.

“Sixteen is an important milestone for young people, when they leave compulsory education and take different routes to further study, training and work. Qualifications help them decide which path to take. They also give colleges, employers, training providers and universities key information about those applying to them.

“As the report points out, qualifications will have to change if they are going to fulfil the ambition of the new curriculum and meet the evolving needs of learners and society. 

“We will launch a major consultation exercise in November to gather as many views as possible on the next generation of qualifications for Wales. We’ll be looking at how qualifications could be designed and assessed differently in future and asking whether we should keep the GCSE name.

“We want to make sure that we get the right qualifications to help all learners progress, whatever level they’re working at,” said Mr Blaker.

The first of a series of consultation exercises being undertaken by Qualifications Wales will run for 12 weeks from 18 November until 7 February and is open for everyone to make their views known.