Speaking about today’s examination results and last night’s announcement by the Education Minister on last minute changes to A level grades, David Evans, Wales secretary of the National Education Union Cymru said:

“NEU Cymru have always recognised that grading A levels and other qualifications was going to be fraught with difficulty this year when students were unable to sit external examinations.

Wales must have a system where learners are not disadvantaged by having their exams unfairly downgraded and we therefore supported a system which placed trust in the profession to assess pupil performance. But that was just one part of the process and although there have been quality assurance checks it was inevitable that anomalies would arise.

“NEU Cymru wishes many congratulations to those who have secured expected grades and we trust that the adjustment and appeals processes will be robust enough to deal with all anomalies that may have arisen.

“Too many young people, exam grades are a ticket to their futures, and should not reflect where you live, but what you are capable of. It has been an unprecedented year for these young people, and grades must reflect their true ability for there to be confidence in the system.

“The overall outcomes in Wales has seen an increase in the number of A* grades awarded together with an improvement of awards at A* - E. That will reflect the significant amount of work already undertaken by teachers and school and college leaders in ensuring that students secure the results their efforts deserve. However, the fact that Kirsty Williams had to make an 11th hour announcement confirms that there will be issues at individual level caused as a result of an imperfect standardisation process.

“Whilst it is disappointing that amendments to some grades will come late in the day, we hope that the Welsh Government proposals outlined by the Minister will ensure fairness for young people about to receive their grades."

ENDS

Press contacts:

The National Education Union is an amalgamation of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT), formed on 1 September 2017. Please see the below contact details for assistance:

Contact: David Evans, National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ.  Tel: 029 20491818.  Mob: 07815 071164.

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