RESPONDING to confirmation from Welsh Government over its approach for qualifications in 2021, Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister, Siân Gwenllian MS said,
“Plaid Cymru has been making the case for all exams to be scrapped since the summer exam fiasco. With so much disruption to the current educational year already, cancelling all end of year exams is the right decision for the young people of Wales, and will go some way in relieving anxiety.
“With so much variation in how much schooling a pupil has received this year already, a ‘one size fits all’ exam approach would not have been fair when you have an uneven playing field.
“We know that coronavirus rates tend to be higher in disadvantaged areas. We know there is a digital divide in our young people that is linked to poverty. We also know from the summer exam fiasco that children from disadvantaged areas are less likely to perform well in exam conditions.
“The independent review chaired by Louise Casella advocated scrapping all exams and using centre assessed grades as an alternative method of assessment. This would have been the route chosen by Plaid Cymru as the fairest way forward and the best in terms of student well-being. However, in choosing to follow the advice of Qualifications Wales, which includes an element of external assessment, the Education Minister must accept that with the unknown comes more stress, all of which could have been avoided.
“We must now have urgency on the forthcoming consultation period with stakeholders. The sooner we can be clear on the detail and what is expected of everyone, the sooner we can prepare our learners for what will be another unsettled year.”