GCSE exams row: New courses next year will not be delayed in Wales

The BBC is reporting that there are no plans to postpone the introduction of new GCSE courses in Wales despite calls asking for them to be delayed…

The head of Wales’ largest exam board WJEC called for the delay after “unexpectedly low” grades for new GCSE English language exams sat in January.

The Welsh government plans the new courses in English, Welsh, Double maths and the Welsh baccalaureate next year.

They are designed to boost Wales’ disappointing exam results.

The WJEC said some schools might not have prepared well enough for changes to the English language subject, adding that they struggled with changes to one course this year, so additional changes should be delayed.

The Welsh government said the new qualifications were designed to improve rigour and raise standards and that it remained on track to deliver its reforms.

It has also has said that it will work with the WJEC and schools to see what issues might have affected results.

The Welsh government plans to launch new GCSE courses in September 2015.

WJEC chief executive Gareth Pierce called for the delay the next round of changes.

He said: “The question is how soon should yet another significant change occur?

“Is 2015 soon, too soon possibly, while we’re still working with teachers on current changes?”

The Welsh government spokesperson said: “We will be working with WJEC and schools over the next few weeks to establish the issues that may have affected the results achieved by students in the units sat this January.

“Following the independent review of qualifications we have established an extensive reform programme to transform qualifications in Wales – to improve rigour and raise standards – we remain on track to deliver our reforms.”

Angela Burns, Conservative shadow education minister, said it was alarming how many schools had raised concerns over the results.

She repeated her call for an independent regulator to oversee the exam system…

More at: GCSE exams row: New courses next year will not be delayed

Your thoughts on this situation and the introduction of the new GCSEs in Wales? Do you feel there should be a delay or do they just need to get on with it? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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