What’s next for learners once they receive their results?
With a week until the A level and AS results are announced, and two weeks until GCSE results are announced, David Jones, Chair of Qualifications Wales, reflects on the achievements of learners across Wales as they consider their next steps.
As this summer’s results days approach, anticipation will be building up for the many learners across Wales who will receive their qualification results over the next two weeks.
I’d like to start by saying a huge ‘well done’ to all the learners who have worked hard to complete exams and assessments this year. A huge ‘thank you’ to all the teachers and lecturers too, in recognition of all their efforts preparing learners and supporting them throughout the academic year. I know that it has continued to be a difficult journey because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic, and it is a real credit to everyone involved, for their hard work, dedication, and resilience, and for the support of parents, carers and others too.
As we continue on our journey back to pre-pandemic arrangements, formal exams and assessments took place again this summer, with some changes remaining in place to provide learners with some extra support. The extra support came in the form of advance information, together with a supportive approach to grading.
At Qualifications Wales, we have made several decisions to ensure that learners are at the heart of everything we do, and these decisions have been taken in partnership with others. We have continued to work closely with WJEC, other awarding bodies, the wider education sector and Welsh Government to take the next step on the Welsh qualification system’s journey back to pre-pandemic assessment arrangements, whilst still providing learners with a safety net to recognise the difficulties faced in recent years.
We know that there have still been many questions and concerns, so this summer, as in previous years, we’ve invited learners, teachers, lecturers, and anyone with an interest in the exams to share their views throughout the examination and assessment period. There has been a great deal of helpful feedback, and we will use this because we genuinely want to learn from everyone’s views.
Learner progression has been in the forefront of our minds at Qualifications Wales. For many of those completing AS, A level and other level 3 qualifications, progression to university or other forms of higher education will be the aim. Others may be eager to enter employment to kickstart their careers, often through starting an apprenticeship, recognising the value of earning while they learn with on-the-job training. For younger learners completing their GCSEs and other qualifications, there are also a wide range of ‘next steps’ available at school, college, or in work-based learning and apprenticeships. It is a pivotal moment in these individuals’ lives, with the choices that they make now shaping their futures.
I fully understand that many young people may be feeling pressure to choose and then achieve the necessary results to pursue their progression route. This is always tough, but don’t forget that there are many courses and alternative options available should you need to re-visit your next steps. I know that every school and college across the country will be there to advise and support young people whether they wish to go through the clearing system for progression to higher education, decide to re-sit certain qualifications, or consider a completely different pathway. In addition, there are helplines available for those learners who may need additional guidance and support. My advice to all learners is to look closely at all the options that are available, and to seek advice from several sources – there are many choices available, and it’s okay to change your mind.
As a former Principal of a further education college, I would encourage anyone who is interested in an apprenticeship to contact their local further education college or other work-based learning provider for more information, or attend an open day there, to find out more about apprenticeship options. They are well connected with employers and so will be able to provide useful help and guidance.
Pob lwc to all our learners
Whatever your results, we would like to congratulate you and every other learner for what you have all managed to achieve this year. I very much hope that you can progress in the direction of your choice or find suitable alternatives that will take you on a journey to an exciting and successful future.
For more support and guidance visit the Qualifications Wales website, or: