Consultation outcome

Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Decisions on Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021

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Infographic - how vocational and technical qualifications will be awarded in 2021

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Detail of outcome

Different approaches will be taken to 3 broad groups of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs):

  1. The first group includes those VTQs most similar to GCSEs, AS and A levels that are used for progression to further or higher education. It is government policy that it is no longer viable that exams for these VTQs go ahead. Instead, results should be awarded using similar arrangements to GCSEs, AS or A levels. These include VTQs such as many BTECs, Cambridge Nationals and Technicals, and many Technical Awards and Technical Certificates, as well as other general qualifications that are not GCSEs, AS or A levels, such as the International Baccalaureate, Pre-U, Core Maths, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Awards.

  2. The second group is VTQs used to enter directly into employment. Exams or assessments should continue where they are critical to demonstrate occupational or professional competence and can be delivered in line with Public Health England measures. Where the assessment cannot take place safely, it will need to be delayed. These may be written or practical exams and assessments.

  3. The third group includes smaller qualifications taken for mixed purposes that are unlike GCSEs and A levels in their qualification and assessment structure, such as functional skills qualifications and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Exams and assessments for these should continue where they can be delivered in line with Public Health England measures or remotely, but with alternative arrangements available for those who cannot access the assessments.

T Levels

As this is the first year in which students will be taking T Levels and students need to be able to progress through the course, students should be able to receive grades for the core component in August this year. Alternative arrangements for the award of these grades should be put in place to recognise that there is no historical delivery that can inform alternative assessment.

Other

Internal assessment should continue where possible as it is important in supporting continued learning, as well as providing evidence to inform results awarded through alternative arrangements.

The performance standard for VTQs and other general qualifications should be broadly the same as in previous years.

It is expected that relevant VTQ results are issued to students on or before 10 August for level 3 and 12 August for level 2 .

Feedback received

Analysis of consultation responses for alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021

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Response analysis - VTQ Consultation on awarding grades in 2021 (accessible tables)

Detail of feedback received

The consultation ran between 15 January 2021 and 29 January 2021 and received 3,277 responses, submitted either through an online form. This document provides a summary of the responses received.

Original consultation

Summary

The approach to awarding vocational and technical grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

Government decided that schools and colleges must close to most, to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Through this joint consultation, Ofqual and the Department for Education want to hear the views of students who were due to take their exams, their parents and carers, their teachers, school and college leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers, and employers. The consultation covers general and vocational qualifications, with this document focusing on the latter.

Students need grades to continue to the next stage of their education or training, or into employment. Grades must reflect what a student knows, understands and can do, and they must be widely understood and respected. In place of exams in summer 2021 we propose that a student’s grade in a subject will be based on their teacher’s assessment of the standard at which they are performing.

Documents

Published 15 January 2021
Last updated 25 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added accessible HTML version of consultation decisions.

  2. Published the decisions and analysis of responses.

  3. Added an accessible HTML version of the consultation document.

  4. First published.