16 October 2017
Commenting on the report published today by Qualifications Wales on early entry for GCSEs, ASCL Cymru Director, Tim Pratt said:
“We welcome today’s report by Qualifications Wales and we particularly welcome the suggestion to lift the restriction on early entry in English and Welsh language, which should give schools more flexibility on when to enter their students for those exams.
“Whilst it may seem entirely logical that students following a two-year course should complete that course before being entered for examinations, not all students will take the full two years to reach that stage. There may be some students for whom early entry is a logical and valuable strategy to help them reach their goals.
“We are however concerned that unless these proposals are part of an overall restructure of accountability measures in Wales, by using the ‘first grade counts’ approach, this may leave some schools, particularly those in challenging circumstances, in the unenviable position of having to choose between the best interests of their students and fulfilling the requirements of accountability measures. ASCL Cymru strongly believes that the needs of students should always be paramount however, the pressure bought to bear on school leaders by local authorities, consortia and government, to meet targets, may mean this is not always the case in practice.
“We look forward to hearing the Cabinet Secretary’s response in due course.”