ASCL comment on changes to BTEC Tech Award grade boundaries

19/08/2019
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on changes to the points required for grades in BTEC Tech Award qualifications
 
Commenting on changes to the points required for grades in BTEC Tech Award qualifications, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“Our understanding is that the grade boundaries for BTEC Tech Awards have been changed because the number of grades at the top end exceeded what had been anticipated and that this is seen as undermining the validity of the qualification. The grade boundaries have therefore been raised.
 
“This means that students will receive grades that are lower than they expected to receive and this is an extremely disappointing situation. The goalposts have been moved and pupils and their teachers have every right to feel badly let down, particularly pupils who took assessments in February and could have retaken this element.
 
“We understand that these are new qualifications and the original grade boundaries were based upon modelling that took place in this context. However, we are concerned that this modelling was significantly awry. It is also seems that neither centres nor candidates were advised that the original grade boundaries were indicative and that they could change.

“It is our view that the original grade boundaries should be honoured for this year, and we will be seeking urgent talks with the exam board, Ofqual and the Department for Education accordingly.”