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GCSE and A-level grades in Wales to be marked generously in 2023

November 29, 2022

Original Article:

Pupils in Wales sitting exams next year will continue to be graded more generously than before the pandemic, the qualifications watchdog has said.

Qualifications Wales said the decision reflected the "long-term impact" the pandemic has had on learners.

It follows a similar approach to setting grades in 2022 - the first set of exams for three years after they were cancelled because of Covid-19.

The regulator said grading would return to pre-pandemic standards in 2024.

The intention in summer 2023 is for GCSE, AS and A-level results to reflect a mid-point between 2019 and 2022 grades, unlike in England where exams will be marked closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Though overall grades in 2022 were, as planned, lower than in 2021 when teachers set grades, there could still be a significant drop back to pre-pandemic levels without extra support, the regulator feared.

It has already been announced that GCSE and A-level pupils will receive some advance information of the topics, themes or texts they can expect in exams.

But, unlike last year, there will not be changes to the content of courses.

Qualifications Wales said its approach takes into account the "disruption experienced by learners during the pandemic", as well as the fact that AS qualifications and some GCSE units this year, under different grading, would have an impact on next year.

Chief executive Philip Blaker said the priority was to make sure young people were supported to move on to the next stage of their education or work.

"After a challenging couple of years for the education system, everyone's effort and support for learners means we are moving back towards pre-pandemic approaches", he said.

"We continue to work closely with awarding bodies, other UK regulators, higher education institutions and other stakeholders to make sure that Welsh learners are not disadvantaged."


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