Phase 1 - Shaping our approach

At the end of 2019, we consulted on how we should approach the work of agreeing how qualifications for 16-year-olds should change in future.

Our online consultation ran from 18 November 2019 to 7 February 2020. 

In our consultation, we set out our vision for future qualifications. We proposed a set of guiding principles that should shape the future range of qualifications for 16-year-olds. We also asked about what should happen with GCSEs and the Skills Challenge Certificate.

Below, you can read about our decisions following the consultation and our advice to the Minister for Education about the approach we will take to consider and agree how qualifications should change in future.

To find out more about how we are putting our approach into action, please go to the next section, where we explain how we will decide which qualifications should be available in future.


We commissioned Arad, an independent research provider, to host our consultation and to analyse the responses to it. Below you can read a summary of their analysis, their full report and a youth-friendly version of the report.



We hosted a webinar to provide an overview of our consultation responses and decisions. Below is a recording of the webinar and a summary of the questions raised.

 Recording of webinar from 5 June 2020

 Q&A from the webinar

Closed consultation documents

You can read the documents we consulted on below. These include the main consultation document, the youth-friendly and easy read versions, and the accompanying impact assessment. Please note these consultations are now closed.



Background to the consultation

We wrote to Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, in February 2019 to explain our approach to developing qualifications for the new curriculum.

You can read our letter and the Minister’s response below.