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Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education

First published:
28 August 2020
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At the Children, Young People and Education Committee on 18 August, I stated that I would be commissioning an independent review of events following the cancellation of this year’s exams.

Today I am pleased to announce that Louise Casella has agreed to chair an independent review of the arrangements for awarding grades for the 2020 exam series. Louise is Director of The Open University in Wales and has extensive experience in strategic roles in the education sector in Wales.

The review will consider key issues that have emerged from the arrangements which were put in place for this summer’s exams, and the challenges resulting from the 2020 experience. It is essential that lessons are learned from this year’s experience so that the review can provide recommendations and considerations for approaches for 2021. These recommendations will be centred on the needs of our learners and their progression, and on the continued need to maintain standards and the integrity of the education system and qualifications here in Wales.

Given the pressing need to put measures in place for the 2021 exam series, and development of contingency arrangements in case of further disruption, I have asked Louise to provide me with an interim report of key findings by the end of October, with a final report and recommendations to follow by mid-December.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.

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