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Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education

First published:
3 July 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

When I announced the cancellation of the 2020 summer examinations series, due to the coronavirus pandemic, I also confirmed that we would not be publishing performance measures. That decision covered all school and post-16 performance measures for the 2019/20 academic year.

It is clear that there will also be implications of the ongoing disruption to schools and post-16 providers for qualifications awarded next year, particularly those which are two year courses of study. I am, therefore, providing early clarity that the suspension of Key Stage 4 and legacy sixth form performance measures will be extended to the 2020/21 academic year.

In the post-16 sector, the range of providers (sixth forms, FE institutions, workbased learning and adult learning) and different types of programmes are affected in different ways. Some outcomes in 2020/21 will reflect a two-year programme for learners, while others are covering a single year of study. We will, therefore, consider the best approach to post-16 performance measures for 2020/21. The sector will be consulted, before any firm decision is taken, in order to consider what would be useful to help their own monitoring and quality assurance processes.

All schools and post-16 providers will continue to be required to undertake effective self-evaluation to support continuous improvement. Our evaluation, improvement and accountability arrangements require consideration of a broad range of information relevant to a school’s own context when undertaking self-evaluation and identifying improvement priorities. This will involve schools, with support from local authorities and regional consortia, using the learner level information they have on attainment and other outcomes to reflect on and improve their existing arrangements.

In 2020/21, as for 2019/20, qualification awards data will not be used to report on attainment outcomes at a school, local authority or regional consortium level and must not be used to hold schools to account for their learners’ outcomes. My previous assurances that awards will not be used in this way were essential in ensuring learners could be awarded fair outcomes, based on objective centre assessed grades, arrived at without the pressure associated with performance measures or accountability arrangements.

I am confident that the qualifications awarded this year will be fair and robust. They will have the same value for learners as those achieved by any other cohort and will be published as Official Statistics, at a national level, which will not include performance measures.