Parents, learners and teachers: Just 1 week left to help shape the new GCSEs for Wales

GCSEs in Wales are changing, and there is just one more week to get involved and help shape the GCSEs of the future.

In one of the biggest consultations on education in Wales, Qualifications Wales is encouraging teachers, learners, parents, employers and the public to ‘Have Your Say’ on GCSE reforms before the consultation closes on 14 December. 

Many educators, learners and employers across the country have already responded to the consultation since 4 October. There is now just one week left to gather views from those who want to shape the qualifications that will be introduced in 2025. 

Proposals for 26 new GCSE qualifications reflect the requirements of the Curriculum for Wales, which started to be taught in schools this September. Qualifications Wales is asking for feedback on the proposed content and assessment of a wide range of subjects, including brand-new GCSEs in Social Studies, Engineering, Film and Digital Media, and Dance.  

The new Made-for-Wales GCSEs will be introduced in 2025 and will be studied for the first time by pupils currently in Year 7. 

New Made-for Wales GCSEs will offer: 

  • learners new ways of demonstrating the skills, knowledge and experiences they gain from studying the Curriculum for Wales;
  • flexible content and assessments to help schools design their own curricula and meet the needs of learners; 
  • a balanced mix of assessment methods, with less emphasis on exams and more opportunities to be assessed during the course of study;
  • more effective use of digital assessments.

To help develop these proposals, Qualifications Wales gathered views from over 1,400 learners, on what they want from the qualifications of the future. 

Emyr George, Qualifications Wales’ Director of Qualifications Policy and Reform, said:  
"It’s important that we capture the widest possible range of views in this consultation, to ensure that the new GCSEs for Wales will be fit-for-purpose. Lots of teachers, lecturers and trainers have already responded, which is great. But the effect of these changes will be felt far beyond the classroom. We also want to hear from learners, parents and employers. So if you are a parent or carer of a school-age child – especially if they’re in Year 7 or younger – please tell us what you think. And if you’re an employer, it’s also important that we know what you think of these plans. So I’d urge everyone to give us their opinion before the consultation closes on 14 December.” 

Rhodri Thomas, Headteacher of Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig in Aberystwyth, said:  
"We were very pleased to explain the proposed changes to our pupils and encourage them to share their opinion on them. We are very pleased that such wide-ranging views are being sought, to ensure that the new qualifications offer something for everyone. We are excited to help shape the GCSEs of the future.”  

How to participate in the consultation: 
Submit your views through Qualifications Wales’ dedicated website - Have your say - Qualifications Wales. You can respond to detailed proposals for each GCSE, or give general feedback on the changes overall. 

The consultation closes at 23:59 on 14 December 2022. In May 2023, we will publish the final design requirements, or ‘Approval Criteria’. Awarding bodies will need to follow these criteria when developing the detailed specification and assessments for each new qualification.