EXAMS and assessments will go ahead in Welsh schools this year - unless the public health situation makes it impossible.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Education Minister Jeremy Miles said he did not expect exams needing to be cancelled.

"Exams and assessments will go ahead unless the public health situation makes this impossible, which we do not envisage," Mr Miles said.

"We are clear that these remain the fairest way of assessing learners, even in these difficult circumstances.

"Adaptations to exam content have been put in place as well as prior notification of areas of examination. , so that assessments are as fair as possible, and which will enable teachers to focus their time on the key areas for learning. Working collaboratively with Qualifications Wales, we are working with colleges to ensure learners undertaking vocational qualifications are also able to access appropriate adaptations this year.

"I encourage all learners in exam years to talk to their schools and colleges about what additional support and flexibility might be available this year, to help them progress with confidence."


Wales Education Minister Jeremy Miles.

Wale's Education Minister Jeremy Miles.


Mr Miles held the conference following First Minister Mark Drakeford’s announcement that Wales will be moving to Alert Level 0 on Friday, January 28.

Providing an update on operational arrangements in schools, Mr Miles said: "As a government, we are absolutely clear that, for wellbeing and learning, it is vital that children and young people are in school.

"I am signalling today that, if the evidence supports it, we will confirm at the next three-week review point on 10 February that schools should return to making local decisions on mitigations in line with the Local Infection Control Decision Framework by the beginning of the new half term on 28 February. Face coverings will remain in schools for the time being, just as they are required in most public places, at alert level 0.

"In preparation, schools should work with their local authorities and public health advisors to determine the measures they may need to put in place, based on their local circumstances."

Staggered start and finish times will be extended for those schools currently using them.

Face coverings will also remain in place until at least the next review.

Mr Miles said: "A small proportion of schools have made use of the disapplication of the Changing of School Session Times (Wales) Regulations 2009 put in place for the return of learners at the start of this term providing flexibility for schools to temporarily change their school session times. These arrangements have been particularly useful to Special Schools, so will be extended until the half-term break, after which all schools will be required to revert to their normal timetable.

He added: "Our focus remains to maximise learning and minimise disruption.

"I wish to reiterate to learners, schools and colleges that exams and assessments this year will go ahead, unless the public health situation makes it impossible for them to physically run – which we do not envisage. The intention to adjust grade boundaries to reflect disruption has already been set out."