IN reply to the Weekender column ‘Exam system isn’t up to standard any more,’ the UK Government announcement on GCSEs means that Wales will soon need to establish a new Welsh exam system.

It is vital that this system is fair and transparent. Plaid wants to see a streamlined system, with fewer exam boards and less marketisation of education. We have seen, in recent weeks with the appalling mess made of this summer’s English GCSE paper, there is too much ambiguity over what grade levels actually mean and if they are a true representation of attainment. The Welsh minister still has questions to answer on this matter, but it is obvious that there are lessons to learn on exam board regulation. Plaid’s vision of a standard national exam system will ensure that qualifications are only awarded to students with appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy. This change can deliver fairness and transparency, which is what our education system desperately needs. Welsh students deserve this and this is what Plaid Cymru wants to deliver.

Simon Thomas AM