The main trends for quarter 4 2018 are given below:
- Just over 1 million certificates were awarded in 2018 Q4, an increase of 6.6% on the same quarter of 2017.
- The increase is mostly due to an increase in the number of certificates in Vocationally-Related Qualifications, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Other Life Skills Qualifications and Other Vocational Qualifications. There have been decreases in the number of certificates in QCF and Functional Skills.
- The decline in the number of certificates in QCF can be partially attributed to Ofqual’s decision to revise the list of available qualification types. The increase in the number of certificates in Vocationally-Related Qualifications, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Other Life Skills, and Other Vocational Qualifications can also be attributed to this revision.
- The general decline in the number of certificates over the previous 12 month period may be caused by a tightening in the availability of funding. This is notable at Level 1/Level 2 and Level 2 qualifications. Some of this decline has been offset somewhat by the increase in the number of certificates in Level 3 qualifications. This change could be driven by changes in performance tables as Applied General qualifications (Level 3) grow in popularity.
- The decline in the number of certificates in Functional Skills is likely due to the changes in funding rules by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and revised guidance from DfE that post 16 students who have a grade D/grade 3 in English or mathematics must now be entered for GCSE resits in those subjects rather than Functional Skills.
- The sector subject areas with a notable increase in the number of certificates were Preparation for Life and Work and Construction, Planning and the Built Environment.
- The increase in the number of certificates in Preparation for Life and Work is due to the increase in the number of certificates in a number of Entry Level qualifications compared to Q4 in 2017.
- The qualification with the highest number of certificates this quarter was QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF), followed by TCL Entry Level Certificate in ESOL International - Speaking and Listening (Entry 3) and City & Guilds Level 3 Award in the Requirements for Electrical Installations BS 7671:2018.
- The increase in the number of certificates over the previous 12 month period for The Learning Machine is driven by increases in the number of certificates in the Information and Communication Technology sector subject area, and the increase in ESB is due to an increase in the number of certificates in Entry Level and Level 1 qualifications. The decrease in the number of certificates awarded by AQA can be explained by the removal of some Level1/ Level 2 qualifications from school perfomance tables in 2017.
The data cover regulated qualifications in England.
The dataset used to produce this release is available separately.
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