Speaking about the Education Minister’s announcement on awarding grades this summer, Wales Executive members of the National Education Union Cymru, Mairead Canavan, Hannah O’Neill and Neil Foden said:

“NEU Cymru are pleased we are moving to a system with more trust in teachers and lecturers. Young people who were expecting to be taking their exams this year have faced uncertainty, especially as schools have been closed to many learners now we are in a lockdown situation. This announcement should place more certainty for everyone involved – both students and staff alike. 

“The last ten months has been incredibly challenging for everyone in education. We are keen that there is no repeat of the position we all found ourselves in last summer. This is an opportunity now for the system to put trust in teachers and lecturers.

“We are always concerned that exams do not fully reflect the potential of young people in the system, and are especially pleased that there are no plans to use an unfair algorithm this year. We look forward to working with the Welsh Government to explore the details of the proposal, especially around the appeals process, and help ensure the workforce has everything they need to support young people in the coming months.”

We welcome the Education Minister’s statement, that schools and colleges are to be part of the Welsh Government’s 3-week reviews, and are unlikely to open until after half-term, unless we see significant changes.

“Our members wish that they were back in the classroom delivering lessons. But it looks like the majority of learning will be online for a while now. A range of things have to happen to make schools and colleges safe for children and young people and education staff.

"We believe now is the time to be vaccinating the education workforce, in line with education being the Welsh Government’s priority. The safety and well-being of everyone in education is important, and we cannot see a return to the classroom for everyone, until it is safe to do so.”

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: Mary van den Heuvel – Wales Policy Officer - National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ.  Mob: 07436 549606.

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.