Wales to retain GCSEs and A-levels
THE qualifications system in Wales is set to break with the system in England after the Welsh Government stuck by the GCSE.
Deputy minister for skills Jeff Cuthbert told AMs that a review into school exams had been accepted.
It means that GCSEs and A Levels will be retained in Wales - while in England the UK government is considering scrapping the GCSE.
'Our guiding principle is doing what is best for learners in Wales and for the Welsh economy,' he told AMs yesterday[TUES] 'This will sometimes mean diverging from England and the rest of the UK, but many qualifications will continue to be shared.'
He said at the heart of the system would be a 'revised and more rigorous' Welsh Baccalaureate, while there would be new GCSEs in English language and Welsh first language, as well as two new GCSEs covering numeracy and maths techniques.
Mr Cuthbert said unlike the UK government's education secretary Michael Gove the Welsh Government had confidence in the GCSE which he said commands 'respect with employers and universities around the world.'
He said a proposal from England that will see students take A Level exams at the end of a two year course, instead of at the end of each year, had little appeal.
Angela Burns AM of the Tories said qualifications should be internationally recognised.
Simon Thomas, Plaid AM, said many young people feel that the Welsh Baccalaureate is a 'waste of their time' and some do not feel challenged by the qualification.