17 May 2019
ASCL members value the availability of a range of qualifications, including those where centre-based assessments are a key component, which support particular learners, especially Technical Awards. So, it seems, does the Department for Education, who recently made the following observation in their ad hoc notice Non-GCSE qualifications in England: key stage 4 entries and absence and exclusions outcomes:
“For pupils in state-funded mainstream schools, taking a Technical Award is associated with pupils having lower absence rates, lower permanent exclusion rates and lower fixed exclusion rates, when compared to similar pupils who did not take a Technical Award.”
We welcome this consultation in that it seeks to improve the rigour of, and confidence in, all qualifications which include centre-based assessment, but particularly because it should lead to technical and vocational qualifications having a more secure place in the qualifications landscape.
We broadly welcome the ambition to improve rigour, but we have concerns stemming from the current financial climate which reflect the experience of ASCL members in school and college settings.