THE way GCSE English papers in Wales are graded will change to prevent a repeat of last year's results scandal, the education minister said yesterday.

Leighton Andrews has introduced four rules, which must be followed by exam bodies recognised by the Welsh Government to award qualifications in Wales.

The new conditions will see awarding bodies mark examinations and moderate controlled assessments for exams taken in January, but will not give out grades for those exams as it has previously.

Instead January marks will be considered at awarding meetings in the summer, together with marks from the summer examinations and controlled assessments.

The second condition will see exam boards set separate assessments for learners in Wales taking GCSE English Language units in June 2013, where they have more than 5,000 expected entries; and the third will see separate award meetings held for those learners in Wales to set grade boundaries which lead to comparable outcomes with 2011.

The fourth condition will require WJEC to issue one certificate per candidate in Wales, which will contain all the WJEC GCSEs awarded to each candidate and these certificates will include only the Welsh Government and WJEC logos.

The new rules have been brought in following discussions with exam board WJEC and exams regulator Ofqual.

GCSE English Language was the subject of much concern last year and following an investigation Mr Andrews ordered the WJEC to re-grade the qualification for candidates in Wales, which saw thousands of students receive better grades.

Mr Andrews hopes the new rules will ensure that an appropriate methodology for determining grade boundaries will be used in 2013 for WJEC’s candidates in Wales to prevent a repeat of last year's events.