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Commenting on Qualifications Wales's advice to the Education Minister on next summer's examinations, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT has remained clear that the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is creating profoundly difficult challenges for the qualifications system. There are no easy, ready-made or problem-free solutions that ministers and regulators will have to hand.
“In contemplating the approach to awarding qualifications next summer proposed by Qualifications Wales, the Education Minister will need to be mindful of the need to find a way forward that is as fair as possible to learners and as manageable as possible for teachers and school leaders.
“It is welcome that Qualifications Wales has strongly emphasised the need to avoid creating added workload burdens for teachers.
“Prior to the pandemic, teachers and school leaders consistently cited workload as their main concern about the quality of their working lives. Since the crisis took hold, the pressures on staff in schools have only increased as they continue in their efforts in entirely unprecedented circumstances to ensure that pupils receive their entitlement to a high quality education. It is imperative that the Minister’s decisions are guided by a clear understanding of the scale of the challenges that teachers and school leaders already face.”
Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales, added:

“It will also be important for the Minister to consider whether Qualifications Wales's proposals do enough to ensure that the different levels of disruption that pupils across the country have faced will be taken into account in the awarding process.
“It is incumbent on the Welsh Government and Qualifications Wales to ensure that all possible mitigations are in place to address this issue. The Minister must test thoroughly Qualifications Wales's rather limited view of the options available to her in this respect to ensure that the objective of fairness for all candidates is secured as far as possible in practice.”


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