Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
The Review of Qualifications for 14 to 19 year olds in Wales made 42 recommendations all of which were accepted by the Welsh Government. Recommendation 5 of that Review advised us to establish Qualifications Wales as a single body responsible for the regulation and quality assurance of non-degree qualifications in Wales and, in time, the development and awarding of most general qualifications in Wales.
The establishment of Qualifications Wales will be in the best interests of Wales and learners in Wales, not just as students, but as citizens and employees of a bilingual nation with a rich and varied culture and economy.
I am, therefore, today publishing the Welsh Government’s proposals for the establishment of Qualifications Wales and inviting comments on the proposals. I believe these proposals will strengthen and simplify the structure of regulation and awarding of qualifications in Wales, and will facilitate the development of qualifications that are more relevant and responsive to Wales’ needs.
In order to safeguard learners’ qualifications in this period of transition, we will establish Qualifications Wales’ functions on a phased basis. From September 2015, the regulatory functions currently carried out by Welsh Ministers will be undertaken by Qualifications Wales, a new independent body that will sit outside of government. In time Qualifications Wales will also award the majority of general qualifications offered in Wales but in the shorter term we will work with awarding organisations, including WJEC, to develop and revise the Welsh Baccalaureate and a single suite of GCSEs and A levels for Wales.
I am confident that the new body will provide a clearer, more coherent and robust landscape for the development of relevant and rigorous qualifications in Wales.
I welcome the opportunity provided by this consultation to seek stakeholders’ views on the proposals. My officials will also be engaging with stakeholders during the consultation period. I intend to bring forward provisions relating to the setting up of an independent qualifications body through legislation later in this Assembly Term.
The consultation documents are available on the Welsh Government's website and can be accessed online.