Welsh public support plans to scrap exams for 2021

Sarah Prescott-SmithPolitical Research Executive
November 19, 2020, 2:51 PM UTC

Approaching half expect students will end up with better grades as a result

The Welsh Government recently announced that they plan to cancel GCSE, AS Level and A Level exams next year, meaning students instead will be assessed and graded by their teachers.

A recent YouGov survey found that just over half (51%) of the Welsh public think that this was the right decision to take, with 23% indicating that they thought it was the wrong decision. Results showed that it is both Labour (65%) and Plaid Cymru (68%) voters who are most likely to think it is the right decision, compared to just 39% of Conservative voters.

A fair assessment: majority in Wales think teacher assessments are a fair way to grade students

According to Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams, the primary reason to replace exams with teacher-managed assessments was fairness. The majority of the Welsh public agree with her, with 55% thinking it is a fair way to assess students. Still, just over a quarter (26%) think it is unfair, with those aged 16-24 being the most likely age group to consider the approach unfair (33%).

In terms of the impact the change will have, Welsh people are most likely (45%) to think that, on average, students will end up with better grades than they would have done had they taken exams.

Only 21% think there will be no difference between the results students end up receiving and those they would have got had they taken exams, and just one in ten think students will end up with worse grades.

Two thirds have confidence in teachers in Wales

With exams cancelled, it will be teachers in Wales who will manage and supervise assessment. Results show that two thirds (66%) of the Welsh public have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in teachers in Wales. This puts them ahead of both the Welsh Government (50%) and Welsh Education Secretary Kirsty Williams (38%).

See the full results here