I’ve called on the government to provide clarity over vocational qualifications like BTECs after local colleges complained that the government has left them in the dark. Local Further Education colleges have told me that they are extremely worried about the lack of a clear policy for vocational assessments, which has led to uncertainty and confusion for both staff and students.
The government has taken a blanket position on GCSEs and A Levels but not for technical and vocational qualifications. Whilst some awarding bodies are looking at more flexibility in practical assessments, there is no sector-wide guidance from government that would allow colleges to plan and ensure that every student is treated fairly.
We’re a year into the pandemic and yet the government still hasn’t come up with a plan to deal with vocational assessments. Without clear, blanket guidance from government, colleges can’t provide students with certainty about how qualifications will be assessed and awarded, which is causing confusion and worry. It’s not fair to staff or students.
Ministers need to sort this out now so that colleges can plan properly and students have peace of mind.