DfE Performance Tables and Schools Update

By: Lucy Thompson

Product Manager

Wednesday 13 September 2017

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I’m Lucy Thompson, Product Manager for Schools here at NCFE. I’m responsible for ensuring that we have great qualifications to offer pupils aged 14 to 16, useful resources to help in delivering the qualifications, and to ensure that our schools receive fantastic service from our support teams.

The past week has seen social media awash with ‘first day’ photos as children begin a new year at school. With this in mind we want to let you know how NCFE will be supporting schools this year.

We’re delighted to announce that we have 19 qualifications approved for inclusion in the Department for Education (DfE) Performance Tables for 2019 and have produced a handy summary guide to help you understand what you can offer  your pupils. We were disappointed that some of our new Tech Awards were not approved for inclusion but we’re working to respond to the feedback we received and will be developing new versions ready for teaching in September 2018.

This year has seen many Awarding Organisations have mixed success rates with meeting requirements and navigating the DfE approval windows process. We hope that the delayed production of the 2020 guidance means that they’re reviewing the whole process and will become more open and communicative. We’re reminding the department about the impact that their work has on schools to make informed decisions about which qualifications to deliver, and that decisions need to be made before pupils are offered these qualifications during options evenings, not just before the teaching is about to commence. We‘ll keep you updated on any news regarding this going forward.

Our customers are our top priority so we are improving the way we work across the business to ensure that we‘re responding to your feedback. This includes introducing more resources and sample materials, and offering more support and guidance around how best to deliver our qualifications.

We’re developing a learning resources hub where you’ll be able to download teaching packs to make it easier to run sessions in your school. You’ll also be able to upload your own materials to share with each other. We’ll keep you up to date with developments and let you know as soon as this is ready.

Our new Curriculum Support Team will be guiding you through using these new resources and will be on hand to help you interpret the qualification specifications into meaningful schemes of work and delivery materials. A series of online webinars and training sessions will also be set up so you can get answers to all of your questions whether you are new to V Certs or have been delivering them for some time.

We currently have a variety of models of qualifications available for 14-16 year olds. Some of these have an externally assessed element that sits within 1 unit, and others span across all units as a synoptic measure. We’re going to carry out a full re-development of our qualifications this year to ensure you have a standardised model. Not only that, we’re responding to your concerns around managing pupils moving between level 1 and level 2 qualifications, and are going to develop combined level qualifications where the level awarded will be determined at the end based upon the achievement of your pupils throughout the course of the qualification. You’ll no longer need to wait to register your pupils until they have completed the majority of the course to work out which level they should be registered on. You’ll be able to do this on day 1 and be able to target your pupils appropriately.

To help support all of this we’ve also refreshed our webpages to make it quicker and easier for you to find all the information you are looking for.

I wish you all a fantastic start to the new academic year and shall be back with regular updates on all things schools in the coming months.

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