Exploring how to advance fairness in Wales’s qualifications system

Qualifications Wales has published qualitative work Beaufort carried out on equality, equity, and inclusion in non-degree qualifications and the system in Wales. We researched the topic with a mix of Qualifications Wales stakeholders and parents. As part of the conversation with stakeholders, we used fictional vignettes. These helped us explore what equality, equity, and inclusion may or may not look like, as well as being a way to elicit views on possible unintended consequences.

When reflecting on EEI, stakeholders considered a range of factors including:

– Providing accessible qualifications that meet the needs of all learners
– Ensuring a level playing field
– Removing barriers, especially those related to social and cultural aspects
– Diversity of learners in certain qualifications such as girls taking STEM subjects or disabled learners taking apprenticeships
– A person-centred approach

Participants in the study often thought of factors relevant to EEI that went beyond qualifications and the education system, including child poverty and other socio-economic reasons.

Qualifications Wales acknowledges the significance of fostering a fair and just qualifications system that provides opportunities for all learners, regardless of their background, abilities, or circumstances. Commenting on the research Tom Anderson, Head of Research and Statistics at Qualifications Wales, noted that our findings provided ‘useful suggestions on how we could advance fairness in the qualification system’.