New GCSEs, new opportunities: Ready to deliver ‘Qualified for the Future’

New GCSEs, new opportunities: Ready to deliver ‘Qualified for the Future’

As we near the end of this summer exam series, we hope that the season went well. We are confident that our assessments have enabled your learners to showcase what they know, understand and can do. Our examiners are already busy marking many thousands of exam papers; rest assured that the process is rigorous, and we’re committed to making sure your learners are awarded valid, reliable, and fair grades in August.

Looking to the future, I’m excited to be able to share some important new developments and updates with you. As you will be aware, Qualifications Wales will shortly be publishing their Final Report and Subject Criteria for a suite of new GCSEs, as part of their “Qualified for the Future” initiative. While we wait for the outcomes to be published, we’ve already begun preparatory work to develop this exciting range of made-for-Wales GCSEs.

To keep you up-to-date with all the latest news, we've recently launched a web area packed with information about our qualification development work. I encourage you to take a few moments to visit these and learn more about our Qualification Development team.

As part of our development process, we are committed to adopting a co-construction approach, and will actively engage with stakeholders during this process. As part of this commitment, we are looking for stakeholders, including teachers and lecturers across Wales, to join our Advisory Groups. Your input and collaboration are crucial to the creation of this new suite, and we hope that you will consider joining these groups.

While your learners wait for their results, we have prepared a new set of videos taking you through the journey of our exam papers, from their creation to their marking process. They provide a behind-the-scenes insight, looking at all the work that goes into ensuring a valid, reliable, and fair assessment process.

We will also be launching our new Professional Learning programme before the end of term. Our new schedule was developed with an understanding of the financial pressures that schools and colleges face, and will therefore include, for the first time, free online Summer 23 exam series feedback opportunities for all subjects, as well as access to free scripts to use as teaching tools and examples for future teaching. As always, our subject teams will continue to provide you with the support you need every step of the way, from planning and preparation to assessment and awarding. Further communications detailing the new opportunities available will be sent to you in due course.

In addition to these developments, myself and members from across the business recently attended Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Llandovery where we had the opportunity to meet with teachers, learners and other stakeholders from across Wales. It was great to connect with so many of you in person, and to see the performances of so many talented Welsh learners.

Our work with schools in Wales has continued this year, and I had the privilege of visiting Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, Ysgol Bro Teifi and Ysgol Gyfun Llangynwyd to meet with teachers, headteachers and learners, as well as Heads Forums in Wrexham and Conwy. These visits are instrumental in enriching the communication and understanding of our work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to engage with educators and learners in these communities, and I will continue to do so. I would welcome the opportunity to visit your school or college and encourage you to contact me via to make the necessary arrangements.

We are confident that these new initiatives will further strengthen our commitment to providing learners with the best possible learning experience. Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you all the best during the remainder of the summer term.

Yours sincerely