AN ANNOUNCEMENT is expected tomorrow on whether GCSE exams will be dropped in Wales this academic year.

Advice given to education minister Kirsty Williams advised her to ditch timetabled exams for students at GCSE and AS-level.

Qualification Wales have recommended that instead, students should be awarded grades based on coursework and a set of common assessments taken during the year.

It is also recommended that schools and colleges are given windows of opportunity for when assessments take place within which there will be some flexibility.

For A-levels, in addition to coursework and set tasks, learners would need to sit one exam per subject – but with a backup opportunity to take the exam if the pupil is ill or is self-isolating.

The education minister will make the announcement to the Senedd on Tuesday.

Upon receiving the advice, Ms Williams said: "I would like to thank both Qualifications Wales and the review panel chaired by Louise Casella, director of the Open University in Wales, for their thorough work and preparing these important documents for consideration.

"I have always said that it is vital that we hear from learners who took qualifications this year, and those due to take qualifications next year, to learn from their experiences before reaching a final decision.

"The independent review’s recent consultation was open to learners, I look forward to reading what they have had to say and am pleased that this information will now help inform our final decision on next year’s exams."

At a press conference last week, first minister Mark Drakeford added: “We were not going to make an announcement until the schools went back so that the education minister can discuss the reports with head teachers.

“She will make a statement to the Senedd on Tuesday, November 10, to be able to give as much time as possible to prepare for the system of examinations, assessment or awarding of grades we can put in place.”