Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, made a statement today that Welsh Government will work with employers, parents and carers, teachers and learners to create a comprehensive approach to developing knowledge, skills and experiences for 14-16-year-old learners under the new curriculum. The approach will recognise the wide opportunities that schools already provide to support their learners move confidently towards employment, further education or training.
Through engagement, guidance will be developed by Welsh Government for consultation later this calendar year, to be finalised and available for schools at the same time as final GCSE specifications (September 2024). Evolution of the Welsh Baccalaureate will be considered as part of this, to enable all learners to gain the skills, experiences and knowledge to move forward on their next steps.
Qualifications Wales have also announced today the structure of new ‘Made-for-Wales’ GCSEs, which reflect Curriculum for Wales aspirations whilst retaining currency as part of a UK system, and being understood by employers. Qualifications Wales and the Welsh Government will now be working with WJEC to develop the detail of the new GCSE specifications to reflect the philosophy of the new curriculum.
Whilst qualifications are a crucial part of a young person’s transition to post-16, they represent only part of the picture of that learner in terms of their progress and achievements. The new 14-16 guidance developed for consultation will therefore test proposals for a learner portfolio which encourages learners to self-reflect on their progress but also use that information to look ahead and to plan for their next steps, whether further study, training or work.
As the Minister has made clear, curriculum reform is a long term journey. Over coming years work will continue with schools and partners, including Qualifications Wales and WJEC, to ensure that learning from the new curriculum informs ongoing work, such as the development of wider ‘Full Offer’ qualifications.
Please read the written statement issued by Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, which sets our full proposal alongside the Qualifications Wales announcement.
Information on the structure of the new GCSEs is available from Qualifications Wales via their website.