Public have confidence in Wales’ qualifications - survey

Friday 19 Oct 2018

Public confidence in GCSEs and A levels in Wales is high and the perception of vocational qualifications is very positive, although more work needs to be done to explain the Welsh Baccalaureate.

These are the main findings of a survey carried out on behalf of Qualifications Wales by Beaufort Research. They conducted face-to-face interviews with 1,008 adults across Wales to measure public confidence in non-degree qualifications and the qualification system.

“The survey found that the public had a good level of confidence in AS and A levels, with an average score of 3.5 out of a possible 5,” said Tom Anderson, Head of Research and Statistics.

“When asked specific questions, more than three-quarters agreed that AS and A levels are good preparation for further study and more than seven out of 10 believed they are qualifications that can be trusted.”

It was a similar story for GCSEs, which achieved an overall score of 3.6 out of 5.

In this case eight out of 10 people also agreed that GCSEs provide good preparation for further study and that they are trusted qualifications, while more than six out of 10 felt they developed a broad range of skills for students.

Knowledge of the Welsh Bacc was limited and while around six out of 10 were aware of it - rising to more than eight out of 10 of 16 to 24-year-olds – overall fewer than one in five felt they knew a fair amount or a great deal about it.

When the content and objectives of the Welsh Bacc and the Skills Challenge Certificate was explained to them, however, almost two-thirds of all respondents agreed that it was valuable for a young person’s future.

Qualifications Wales has launched an information campaign to raise awareness of the Welsh Bacc and its constituent parts, with detailed information and a video guide available on its website.

When asked about vocational qualifications, almost nine out of 10 adults agreed that taking them in school was valuable for a young person’s future. A further eight out of 10 believed that achieving a vocational qualification at 18, instead of A levels, is at least as valuable for a young person’s future.

Qualifications Wales also commissioned an online survey by YouGov in parallel to the Beaufort Research study. YouGov interviewed 1,027 adults online, and the results were broadly in line with those of Beaufort.

Both reports can be read in full on the Qualifications Wales website.