The House of Commons Education Select Committee says Wales, England and Northern Ireland should not rush into separate exam systems. Education Secretary Michael Gove had urged 'the time is now right' to consider splitting off.
MPs say rushing into separate exam systems in Wales, England and Northern Ireland would be "regrettable."
A new report from the House of Commons Education Select Committee urges all three nations to continue to run GCSEs and A-levels, and ministers should "do everything possible to bring this about."
Last month, the Education Secretary Michael Gove wrote to the Welsh and Northern Irish Education ministers saying that 'the time is right' for the exam systems in Wales, England and Northern Ireland to separate.
Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews has said there will continue to be GCSEs, A-levels and AS Levels in the exam system here.
Details of the most radical overhaul of GCSEs in England for a generation will be announced later today.
Plaid Cymru's Education spokesperson Simon Thomas says the priority now must be to ensure Wales-only exams are not seen as 'second rate' in relation to England's. He says they must be monitored by a powerful, independent regulator.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews says the Michael Gove letter means 'the days of three country regulation [of exams] are over.' He says the priority is now to ensure that a future Wales-only system has the confidence of students, schools, universities and employers.
Leighton Andrews also says that he's been in contact with his counterpart in Northern Ireland to look at the possibility of a joint regulatory system.
Plaid Cymru's Education spokesperson, Simon Thomas, says the Gove letter has highlighted the need for urgent action by the Welsh Government to ensure confidence in an increasingly distinct Welsh exam system.
I have tabled an emergency question in the Senedd to get a discussion on the next steps for Wales. The Welsh Government must take urgent steps to ensure confidence in the system. Plaid Cymru is calling for the creation of Examinations Wales as an independent regulator as soon as possible to ensure confidence in the system and ensure standards do not fall.
– Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru Education spokesperson
The Education Minister should 'stop having spats on Twitter' and concentrate on improving education standards, according to the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. But Kirsty Williams said she's 'relaxed' as a politician and as a mother, about the prospect of different exams in Wales and England.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews will face an urgent question in the Assembly on the letter from Education secretary Michael Gove. The Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler has allowed the urgent question to be raised in this afternoon's session.
Michael Gove's letter as reported in the Guardian contains the suggestion that Wales and Northern Ireland may have to give up the titles 'GCSE' and 'A-level' if the systems are to diverge. The Welsh Government's official response is terse.
Wales is keeping GCSEs and A-levels, as is Northern Ireland. We wish Mr Gove well with his plans to rename these qualifications in England.
Michael Gove's letter, which I understand the Welsh Government received this evening, marks acceptance by the UK Government of the of growing differences in the exam systems of the nations of the UK. Its tone is respectful and matches what sources described of the tone of last week's meeting.
The Welsh are determined to keep dumbing down their exams. Leighton Andrews interfered with exam boards last year. He opposes our attempts to toughen things up and made clear he will continue to interfere to make things easier. It's better that we all go our own way and defend our positions to our electorates.
Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews has taken to Twitter this evening to condemn those remarks.
So, @JohnODowdSF (Northern Ireland Education Minister) and I have a cordial meeting with Michael Gove in which he agrees to respect the different decisions in different countries
And a week later Whitehall sources, quoting directly from a comment in the meeting, start being offensive again.
So, for the record, I am happy to confirm that in that meeting Michael Gove apologised to me for his behaviour.
– Leighton Andrews AM, Education Minister (via Twitter)