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Vocational and technical qualifications: awarding in summer 2020


Following the decision to close schools and not go ahead with this summer's exams, the Department for Education (DfE), Ofqual and awarding organisations have been working together to consider how best to assess vocational and technical qualifications intended to be taken over summer 2020. 

The complexity of the landscape for vocational and technical qualifications means a single approach is not appropriate. NAHT is working with the DfE and Ofqual on the details of how this will work, and we will make sure concerns are raised and dealt with to the best of everyone's ability.

Ofqual sets out guiding principles on mitigations for 2020/21 vocational and technical qualifications

Today (2nd July) Ofqual have set out their guiding principles that will determine their approach to mitigations in relation to vocational and technical qualifications. This is to account for the lost teaching time and safeguard against any further disruptions in the coming academic year. The paper can be found here.

Discussions about these principles are ongoing and Ofqual plan to publish more detail in the coming weeks.

Ofqual's chief regulator writes to heads of centre where vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) are taken

Ofqual has published an open letter from its chief regulator Sally Collier to heads of centres where VTQs are taken. You can find the letter here.  The letter recognises the professionalism and flexibility that staff across the sector have demonstrated, both in challenging circumstances and with regard to the specific complexities that the extraordinary arrangements have brought. Her letter also aims to provide clarification and guidance on a number of matters and looks ahead to arrangements for the next year.     

Ofqual publishes consultation decision on awarding grades in summer 2020

Today (22 May 2020) Ofqual has published a statementanalysis and decisions in response to its consultation on exceptional arrangements for awarding vocational and technical awards. It has also published its Extraordinary regulatory framework.

In light of these decisions, it has updated the following documents:

Ofqual has also produced a useful interactive tool to show the main approach for each qualification.

New Ofqual guidance for centres on what to expect from awarding organisations

New guidance from Ofqual sets out what is expected of awarding organisations when awarding grades for vocational and technical awards in summer 2020. This document will be updated when the outcome of Ofqual's' consultation on awarding VTQs this summer is published. 

The guidance sets out its expectations in relation to:

  • Which pupils the arrangements apply to
  • Calculating results using centre assessed grades, rank order and internal assessment grades
  • Evidence centres can draw on to calculate results
  • Adaptions of assessments
  • Work generated after 20 March
  • Key dates and results day arrangements. 

The guidance states that there will be a three-week window, starting on 1 June 2020, for collecting evidence from centres for calculating results.

Pearson's proposed approach for calculating results for BTEC awards

Pearson has produced a short guide on its calculated results approach for the BTEC qualifications. A separate short guidance has been produced for BTEC Level 3/4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FAD), found here.

You can access further advice from Ofqual on summer 2020 results for vocational, technical and other qualifications here

We will continue to keep members updated, but as the situation is rapidly developing, we advise members to check the relevant web pages for Ofqual and your respective awarding organisations regularly, which may include the following:

Last updated 02 July 2020