Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education announced today (16 October) new rules intended to reduce the number of pupils entered early for GCSE examinations.
From summer 2019, only a pupil’s first entry to a GCSE examination will count in their school’s performance measures. The current policy allows schools to count a pupil’s best grade from multiple entries.
This change will bring Wales into line with England, where the ‘first not best grade’ principle has been in place for four years.
Kirsty Williams AM has accepted the recommendations of Qualifications Wales, the independent regulator of examinations, who was asked earlier this year to look into early entry.
Philip Blaker, Qualifications Wales Chief Executive said:
“We heard a wide range of opinions, both in favour and against the use of early entry. We concluded that although early entry can be in the best interests of individual students in some cases, the continued large-scale use of the practice poses risks to students.”
Kirsty Williams AM has also accepted a recommendation to lift a restriction that only allows pupils who are resitting to enter English or Welsh Language GCSE in November.
This announcement comes ahead of broader reform to school accountability that is under discussion currently and is scheduled for publication in 2018.