A positive start to the new term

By: Esme Winch

Managing Director

Thursday 21 September 2017


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Following the latest announcement from the Department for Education (DfE), we’re delighted to have strengthened our offer for schools with 19 qualifications approved in the 2019 tables. This includes the extension of our creative provision with qualifications in Craft where the flexibility of this qualification allows for the ability to cover topics such as Materials Technology, Fashion and Textiles and Food and Cookery.

Alongside CACHE qualifications in Childcare and Development and new NCFE Technical Awards in Graphic Design and Interactive Media, our qualifications for schools represent a broad and comprehensive introduction to technical learning. We are responding to feedback from the DfE on the qualifications which were not successful. Although, it must be said, we have fared somewhere in the middle when comparing ourselves to the variations in success seen by other Awarding Organisations (AOs).

We’re moving in the right direction, whether that trajectory stays the same, will remain to be seen until the next round of submissions. As yet, the DfE have not released the latest version of the technical guidance for 2020 tables, which precedes the opening of a new window for submissions. Ordinarily, we’d expect this in August, with the window opening for submission in September. This won’t be the case this year and the DfE haven’t confirmed when the first window will be.

We’re committed to work closely with the DfE to produce qualifications which meet their requirements. This commitment is also coupled with our dedication to the schools and teachers who deliver the qualifications to the pupils whose futures we’re hoping to improve with a breadth of choice in education. These equally important stakeholders’ needs can sometimes seem at odds with one another.

It’s become increasingly difficult to anticipate the movements of the DfE. This is a time of unprecedented political upheaval and we are certainly feeling the effects of the change in government, the decision to leave the EU and the resources that this huge political and economic shift will be monopolising. This, alongside the efficiency savings being made to facilitate the protection of the schools budget, in cash terms, could be contributing factors behind the confusion and delays that NCFE and other AOs are experiencing.

Thankfully, agility is one of our driving company values. It’s important for us to work to combine these needs and produce qualifications that are robust and competitive when directly compared with traditional academic subjects. We also need to ensure we meet the needs of both schools and teachers with our learning resources. We’ll be telling you more about these over the coming months and we continue to encourage collaborative working during our qualification development. Your feedback is always welcome so please do get in touch with our schools team on [email protected].  

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