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Curriculum and qualifications in a future Wales and United Kingdom

12th December 2012

Parc Thistle Hotel, Park Place, Cardiff 9.00am - 4.30pm

In association with OCR

Chair: Anna Brychan, Director, National Association of Head Teachers Cymru

Publication of the Welsh Review of Qualifications 14-19 at the end of November 2012 comes in the wake of a row between the Welsh and UK Governments about examination results and a potential divergence of the examination system at age 16. In England Education Secretary Michael Gove is demanding a return to an Ebacc ‘O-level’ examination-based system. In Wales Education Minister Leighton Andrews is defending the GCSE approach that includes valuing continual assessment and parity of esteem for vocational subjects. Among the questions addressed by this conference are:

•    What is the purpose of qualifications at age 16 when 80 per cent progress onto further education or training?
•    How are we serving those young people who do not do well at 14-16 (defined as achieving 5 GCSEs at A*-C, including English, Welsh and Maths)?
•    Should there be a new regulator in Wales, and what should its powers be?
•    Should we reform GCSEs or institute a new, perhaps baccalaureate-style, award that is unique to Wales?
•    How do we ensure that any distinctive Welsh qualifications are valued across the UK?
•    What investment would a new award and assessment structure in Wales require?
•    How should reformed qualifications be used in assessment of school performance?

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