Education News Top News

Pembrokeshire lad’s English GCSE sat in Wales was not recognised by RAF

Setting the page on fire with some hard work

A WELSH RAF applicant was asked to take an English test despite holding a GCSE in the subject, because the WJEC qualifications were not recognised in England.

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said Wales-only qualifications had not been seen as acceptable qualifications under English apprenticeships guidelines.

Mr Ellwood said the guidance had since been revised for some exams taken outside of England.

Stephen Crabb MP wrote to the minister after a constituent’s son had to undertake an English assessment during a pre-recruit training course at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire.

This was required even though he already held a Wales-only English GCSE from the WJEC exam board.

Mr Crabb said that he was aware of several instances where this had happened.

Stephen Crabb told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “It is demeaning and unacceptable for any Welsh applicants to the RAF to be asked to take an additional qualification in English because they hold a Wales-based GCSE. There should be no discrimination between GCSEs from England and the devolved nations – especially in our Armed Forces which recruit heavily from Wales and Scotland.  I am aware of several instances where this happened recently. The MOD needs to put a stop to this and ensure total equivalence for GCSEs from Wales.

An RAF spokesman said: “Individuals entering the RAF to complete an apprenticeship are required to meet the standards set by SASE.

“Following a recent Ministerial enquiry, the RAF is seeking guidance to confirm if the WJEC GCSE English Language (Wales) qualification is acceptable for apprenticeships.”