The Welsh government's decision to regrade GCSE papers, after the grades had been awarded, creates very difficult issues for the regulators going forward, according to a representative from Ofqual on 24 October 2012.
Chief Executive of Ofqual, Glenys Stacey, explained that due to different policies in the different countries it was not possible for Ofqual to insist and overrule the Welsh regulator in terms of how they are regulated in Wales.
Minister for Education Leighton Andrews AM asked the WJEC to regrade the papers in September following a report by his officials which states that this year's outcome was "unjustifiable and almost certainly unfair to candidates".
Gareth Pierce from the WJEC stressed the importance of protecting the three country approach to regulations "as that's what will give currency to students in Wales".
Ms Stacey cited a few reasons for the disparity in results of Welsh students sitting the WJEC English language exam which included a decision not to implement key stage two predictors, as is done in England.
As 60% of the examination is currently carried out under controlled assessment, which is monitored internally by the schools and colleges, standards can vary.
Ofqual's Cath Jadhav warned that the 65% of WJEC candidates who took the exam in England "could be more able than those who took exams in Wales" as the less able students in England have an option to take a single English exam.
Labour AM Jenny Rathbone hoped that investment in education had resulted in the previous trend of improved GCSE results rather than the grade inflation, which the WJEC warned could be the case.
Ms Stacey assured the committee that Ofqual is now looking very closely at the qualification and the weakness in the design and it will be monitored in the November resits and January 2013 exams.
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