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What entry level qualifications are available for students?

In July, NAHT raised concerns with both the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual about Pearson's withdrawal of entry level qualifications in all subjects other than English, maths and science. 

We stressed the importance of a curriculum and qualification framework that supports the learning, progress and success of all pupils in all schools.

Ofqual has since confirmed that Pearson did notify them, as they are required to do, before withdrawing these qualifications. Ofqual has no power to require Pearson to offer particular qualifications, but it does expect that they manage the withdrawal of any qualifications properly, including in their communication with schools and colleges.

As a result of our concern, Ofqual looked at the range of qualifications available for pupils who are not able to access the reformed GCSEs. Its register reveals there are about 2,500 qualifications available at entry level, and the full range of these can be seen here:

Ofqual also provided a list of all the entry level qualifications in GCSE subjects offered by the exam boards, which you can find below.


ELC Mathematics (5930)

ELC Science (5960)

Step Up to English (5970)

[Silver Step = EL 1 & 2]

[Gold Step = EL 3]


ELQ Art and Design (E1000)

ELQ English (E1010)

ELQ Geography (E1020)

ELQ History (E1030)

ELQ Home Economics (E1090)

ELQ Learning for Life and Work (E1040)

ELQ Mathematics (E1050)

ELQ Occupational Studies

ELQ PE (E1060)

ELQ Religious Studies (E1070)

ELQ Science (E1080)


Entry Level Certificate English (NENO)

Entry Level Certificate Mathematics (NMA0)

Entry Level Certificate Science (NSC0)

Entry Level Certificate Further Science (NSF0)


ELC Art and Design (R310)

ELC Computer Science (R354)

ELC English (R393)

ELC Geography (R407)

ELC History (R435)

ELC Latin (R447)

ELC Mathematics (R449)

ELC Physical Education (R463)

ELC Science (R483)

WJEC (Some of these do not have a comparable subject offered at GCSE in England.)

ELC in English

ELC in Mathematics (Numeracy)

ELC in Applied Science

Entry Pathways:

  • Additional English
  • Creative, Media and Performance Arts
  • Healthy Living and Fitness
  • Humanities
  • ICT
  • Independent Living
  • Mathematics
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Personal Progress
  • Preparing for Work
  • Science Today
  • Welsh
  • Welsh 2nd language.