This notice has been updated to confirm arrangements for the availability of GCSEs and A Levels in Wales.
We have previously written to you outlining how Qualifications Wales is moving forward with the reform of GCSEs, AS and A Levels in Wales. The second wave of reform changes will come into effect this September and we want to ensure that OCR centres understand how this will impact on them, and the support we have in place.
The primary change for maintained schools in Wales is that centres commencing teaching a two-year GCSE, AS or A Level, or a one-year AS Level course in the 16/17 academic year in most of the second wave subjects this September will need to take the reformed WJEC ‘Wales – only’ qualifications.
What subjects are changing from September 2016?
Subjects that are changing for centres in Wales from September 2016 are:
A qualification with the AS decoupled from the A Level will not meet the requirements of the Qualification Principles so will not be accredited for delivery in Wales. ‘Wales – only’ specifications developed by WJEC have been introduced in a range of subjects for first teaching in September 2016.
However, as part of measures for smaller entry subjects to ensure breadth of subject choice for learners in Wales, OCR’s new, reformed, de-coupled AS and A Levels in Latin and Classical Greek, developed for first teaching from September 2016, have been given designated status in Wales, making them available to all centres in Wales.
Please note: The AS Levels in Latin and Classical Greek are stand-alone qualifications that do not contribute to the final grade of the A Level, but we have carefully designed our AS Levels to be co-taught with the first year of the A Level. Our AS and A Level Co-teaching Guide is available on the A Level reform page.
Changes to GCSEs
Qualifications Wales has published Qualification Principles for GCSEs and, for specific subjects, Subject Principles. GCSEs reformed for Wales will continue to use the grading structure of A* to G grades. ‘Wales – only’ specifications developed by WJEC have been introduced in a range of subjects for first teaching in September 2016.
All other OCR qualifications are available and we are delighted that the options of Cambridge Technicals and Cambridge Nationals are readily available to schools in Wales with excellent support and resources.
Information and support
For further help and guidance on general qualification reform in Wales please do not hesitate to email Paul McGlade, National Manager Ireland and Wales, firstname.lastname@example.org or OCR’s Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or email@example.com. You can also visit the Ireland and Wales page of the OCR website.
You can also find information on reform of A Levels and GCSEs in Wales on the Qualifications Wales website.
For details of the ‘Wales – only’ specifications developed by WJEC for first teaching in September 2015, please see the WJEC website.
Reformed qualifications update: Changes to GCSEs, AS and A Levels in Wales from September 2016