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Ofqual

Volume 551: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2012

6. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education and others on the role of Ofqual in Wales. (122190)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Education. For clarity, Ofqual is the independent regulator of qualifications in England. It is the Welsh Government who regulate qualifications in Wales.

Does the Minister share my concern that a dangerous precedent is set when Ministers take it upon themselves to mark exam papers?

My hon. Friend makes his point. Much has been said about that and I do not want to add to it today, other than to say that it was unfortunate that the Welsh Government acted unilaterally on the matter. The key point is the ongoing review of qualifications in Wales and the proposals from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education for new qualifications at 16 in England. It is important that parents and pupils in Wales have confidence that their qualifications will be respected and robust, and that they will be able to take them to institutions and employers in England, where they will be respected.