Speaking about the Education Minister’s announcement not to hold end of year exams next year, David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union Cymru, said:

"We welcome that Minister has made on an announcement on this – it is critical that we don’t have a repeat of what happened this summer, which was exceptionally difficult for those who should have been taking exams.

“We must ensure that young people have a consistent assessment process in place which means their abilities are recognised for their next steps. But this must not mean extra work for everyone involved – both staff and students alike. The education system is already struggling.

“We only have a term and a half for young people before next summer’s grades are awarded. So, we need as much flexibility in the system as possible now, as we know this is not a normal year, and young people will likely have times when they are at home learning.

“In the end, we know that whatever option we chose in Wales, we need a back-up plan in place, which trusts teachers to know their students. The well-being of everyone in the system should be top of mind now.

“We would expect now that there is maximum engagement with the workforce, to ensure the real situation on the ground for young people is taken into account. We cannot afford to get this wrong again, we need to make the grades young people receive as fair as people.

“We look forward to discussing the details, as inevitably the devil will be in the detail on this one. Sadly, these are not normal times, and we need everyone in the system to make the best of a difficult situation."

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.

e-mail: david.evans@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.