The latest on the Welsh Bacc’s Skills Challenge Certificate

Last year we published an independent review of the Welsh Bacc Skills Challenge Certificate. The review made recommendations for how the delivery and design of these qualifications could be improved. In this blog we give a quick roundup of where we’ve got to with implementing the recommendations and our plan for the months ahead.

We have now established and met with the newly formed Welsh Bacc Design Group, whose role is to consider and develop proposals for changes to the SCC. The Group includes representatives from CollegesWales, Estyn, the regional education consortia Welsh Government, WJEC. Four skills-based qualifications and assessment experts that we have commissioned to provide technical advice and guidance also sit on the group 

The group met for this first time in November. In this meeting, we established the purpose and role of the Group and importantly the context within which we are working with the new curriculum for Wales in development. The Group then began to consider what could be done to refine and develop the SCC further. 

Every aspect of the SCC was up for discussion at the meetings. It was interesting to hear a range of viewpoints, all informed by a different relationship with the qualification; from those approaching with fresh eyes to others who have been involved in legacy versions. A constant throughout the discussion was the acknowledgement of the merits of the SCC and an appetite to build upon that to improve and strengthen it.  At the heart of each discussion was the consideration of the experience of students and teachers. 

Sitting alongside the Design Group is the Welsh Bacc Practitioners Group. This Group comprises around 25 teachers who deliver the SCC from a broad range of schools and colleges across Wales. They have a wealth of experience of the rewards and challenges of delivering the qualification and what it takes to engage students, inform parents and organise resources making it the perfect forum to test the Design Group’s proposals and to provide feedback to inform developments. 

The first meeting of this Practitioners’ Group took place in mid-Wales in November. Ideas on how to support the current model of the SCC were discussed, before considering what could be done to refine and strengthen it. We will be meeting again in February.  

The outcomes of the discussions of both Groups have been shared with each other. We feel that this is an important part of the process as any changes that are introduced must be considered thoroughly following careful planning and engagement, whilst being mindful of the wider education context. Encouragingly, there was a significant commonality between the areas the two Groups identified for improvement as well some new suggestions. 

Both groups will meet again in January and February to firm up proposals for how the design of the SCC could be improved. In our next update we will share some of the ideas coming out of those discussions.