levelling up

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said that he is ‘hoping’ BTEC and similar vocational grades will be included in the teacher grade U-turn.

Earlier today exams regulator Ofqual confirmed that both A-level and GCSEs students will now be given their centre assessment grades, or keep their calculated grade if it is higher. But this didn’t include BTEC results.

However, during a briefing with journalists this evening, Williamson said that he was working with Pearson, the custodians of BTEC qualifications, to look at what is possible.

He said: “We’re very much hoping that this will be actually encompassing BTECs. We’re just working with the awarding authorities to make sure that that’s the case, and I think there’s got to be absolute parity and fairness right across the spectrum.”

He added “there’s quite a bit of difference because there’s very little disparity in terms of the assessment of grades for those who took BTECs and other vocational technical qualifications.

“And so there’s been a little bit of disparity but we want to see parity right across the board in terms of how this is approached, and that’s what we’re working with Pearson on in order to ensure that that’s the case.”

Questioned on whether the awarding bodies will have enough time to turn that around with GCSE results due this week, Williamson thanked the awarding bodies for putting in “so much work” and said the DfE will continue to support them with the awarding of grades, and by working with them, they will be able to deliver.

Ofqual said: “For the small number of qualifications that have used a statistical standardisation approach similar to the Ofqual model for A levels and GCSEs, we have asked awarding organisations to review their approach. This is likely to mean a small proportion of VTQ results will be reissued.”