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Welsh government launches qualifications consultation

06/06/2012 Joanna
The future of qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds in Wales is up for discussion and people in teaching jobs are being asked to contribute their opinions.

Following the publication of the Review of Qualifications' initial findings, deputy minister for skills Jeff Cuthbert has asked anyone with a stake in the Welsh education system to contribute their opinions to the consultation.

The government in Wales is keen to "simplify" qualifications, and last year Mr Cuthbert instructed Huw Evans to undertake a review of the system with a view to making sure that it stays "relevant, valued and fit for purpose in the 21st century".

It is the first time that a review of qualifications has taken place in Wales and, following six months of evidence gathering by the diverse range of review board members, the initial findings have been published for consultation.

Key to the review are issues surrounding the divergence between the Welsh and English education systems and maintaining international respect for qualifications in Wales.

It has also looked at whether it is necessary to implement new qualifications for literacy and numeracy, as well as the possibility of making the Welsh Baccalaureate a general qualification and how this could be implemented.

With Ofqual planning major reforms for GCSEs in England, the review board has also considered similar changes in Wales, so the future of the courses is another issue being consulted on.

Publishing the initial findings, Mr Evans said that the current economic context makes any changes particularly pertinent, with the youth labour market in decline and more young people staying in post-16 education.

"The qualification system needs to respond to these changes and evolving challenges," he said.

"It is essential that young people in education are gaining the knowledge, skills, understanding and qualifications that will best equip them to enter the increasingly competitive worlds of employment or higher education."

Mr Evans concluded by urging anyone with thoughts on the issue - including parents, pupils or people in education jobs - to respond to the consultation before its closing date on September 1st.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801378506-ADNFCR
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