Inspiring future business entrepreneurs

Inspiring future business entrepreneurs

The development of our new suite of Made-for-Wales GCSEs and related qualifications continues to make strong progress. Our Qualification Development Team has been extremely busy responding to feedback from Qualifications Wales on our initial specification submission. They have now submitted the second version to our regulator, and these draft specifications will be published on our website in late June.

Business is one of our new Made-for-Wales GCSEs which will be available for first teaching from September 2025, here Rachel Dodge, one of our Qualifications Development Officers and Stephen Oliver, Subject Officer discuss our co-construction development journey of this qualification, how we have retained popular aspects from our existing specification and introduced new and innovative materials to support the ambitions of the Curriculum for Wales.

Rachel Dodge | Qualifications Development Officer

Stephen Oliver | Subject Officer

“At WJEC, we have over 75 years’ experience in the development and delivery of qualifications, which are led by our Qualification Development Team. As a team, we are committed to adopting a co-construction approach to the development of our qualifications, listening to a broad range of voices to ensure our qualifications will inspire and engage learners across Wales.

Our approach to the development of the new Made-for-Wales GCSE Business was no different, however, we are particularly proud of the new aspects we have introduced that we believe will resonate and inspire future business owners and entrepreneurs.

Addressing initial concerns

One of the most striking changes, as part of the new Curriculum for Wales, was the decision to move Business into the Humanities area of learning. Initial feedback from the teaching community raised concerns that this move would result in the qualification lacking in focus on business fundamentals and theory and consequently, the subject would lose its identity. However, we were confident that we could address these concerns and produce an appropriate solution.

As part of our development work, we began by reviewing the Approval Criteria which was defined by Qualifications Wales. From here, our team worked at pace to develop our qualification outline, which was shared for consultation in late 2023. The initial feedback was broadly positive, however, some felt that the qualification still lacked a focus on business fundamentals and theory. Based on this feedback, we added business fundamentals to the purpose of Unit 1 and renamed Unit 3 ‘Business Strategies for Success’ where there is a clearer emphasis on business concepts and theory. In addition, we have designed the qualification whereby business fundamentals are explored through societal interactions such as examining how society impacts business operations.

Introducing new topics

Alongside retaining popular topics from our existing qualification, we have introduced new topics that will ensure that the subject content remains relevant and will inspire learners. We have reviewed the latest guidance and thinking from key organisations including Business Wales and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and incorporated this within the subject areas. In addition, we introduced key legislative changes that are impacting business practices, such as new environmental commitments including Wales’ Workplace Recycling Regulations (2024) and the drive to achieve ‘net zero’.

Supporting the Curriculum for Wales

To support the ambition of the Curriculum for Wales, we have also focused on new areas including the role and influence of business on people, places and the community and the skills desired by businesses and employers in the future.

Alongside new content, the qualification has been designed with a focus on skill development, including problem solving decision making and the characteristics and skills of an entrepreneur, all key skills desired by employers in Wales and further afield. Through their studies, learners will be given opportunities to apply these skills and utilise their business understanding to real life examples.

Non-examination assessment is a strong example of where learners can apply their skills and understanding to their local area. Here, they will undertake an enquiry into a business within their local area and will have the opportunity to consider the needs of their local area and develop an entrepreneurial solution.

We are confident that the introduction of new topics and a stronger focus on skills development will inspire learners, whilst retaining the key fundamentals of the study of Business. Furthermore, the subject content, alongside the opportunity to consider local, national and international issues will support the four purposes of the new curriculum.

Looking to the future

We are delighted with the initial feedback we have received from Qualifications Wales and look forward to sharing our draft specification with our teachers shortly. Our teams have worked extremely hard to produce this new specification, and we feel that it has embraced the spirit of the Curriculum for Wales and will be popular amongst a broad range of learners. This is an exciting time for teaching in Wales, and we are proud to be at the forefront in the development and delivery of this new suite of qualifications.”

Stay up to date

To keep you up to date with the latest news, opportunities and FAQs regarding the new GCSEs and related qualifications, visit our ‘Made-for-Wales’ web area. This area hosts a wealth of material, including an introduction to our Qualification Development Team who lead the creation of the new GCSEs.