Commenting on today’s release of GCSE results, and the delay in vocational and technical qualifications, David Evans, Wales Secretary for the National Education Union Cymru said:

NEU Cymru has today (20th August) launched a petition with the Welsh Parliament, asking for fairness for students taking exams in 2021.

Speaking about the launch of the petition, David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union Cymru, said:

“We have launched this petition today, as our members are really passionate we get this right for next year. Young people have had a tough time during the coronavirus outbreak. We welcome that the Education Minister has apologised for the exams situation this year. Now we need to urgently make sure the situation of this year’s results doesn’t happen again next year.

“The Welsh Government must now take urgent steps to ensure students due to sit A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and GCSE exams in 2021 are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged by their backgrounds. 

“In Wales, with AS levels, and more focus on coursework, we have had a solid basis on which to judge students’ work. However, allowances must be made for the time students have missed in school or college over the last few months.

“It is clear to our members – teachers, lecturers and leaders involved in this - that Welsh Government needs to make changes to next year’s exams. We must build confidence so that the grades awarded, upon which young people’s life chances are determined, properly recognise and reward their achievements.

“We know the Minister plans to launch an independent review, which is very welcome, and we look forward to hearing further plans. But we can’t emphasise enough how urgent this is.”

The petition calls for Welsh Government to focus on:

• Reducing the curriculum content assessed across GCSE, Welsh Bacc and A-level exams next summer, by making some topics optional across all subjects.

• Working with educators and trade unions to develop a Welsh system of moderated centre assessed grades in case there is further disruption to exams next summer.

• Using this opportunity to develop a robust system which ensures young people are rewarded for their achievements and not held back due to their background.

Sign the petition

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:  Mary van den Heuvel  Tel: 07074365496   E-mail: Mary.VandenHeuvel@neu.org.uk

Note to editors:

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges to form the largest education union in Wales.
  • The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.