‘Astonishing’: Ofqual publishes VTQ entries for first time

But the data is sparse compared to A-levels despite claims of 'parity'

But the data is sparse compared to A-levels despite claims of 'parity'


Ofqual has published entry data for vocational and technical qualifications for the first time.

Today the exams watchdog revealed that more than 334,000 results for level 3 VTQs, which include BTECs and CTECs, are due to be issued in August.

Every year, A-level entry figures are published, but this is the first year that similar data has been published for VTQs.

Ofqual claimed the move marks the “first significant step towards parity of treatment between A-levels and VTQs”.

It is a “milestone” in the regulator’s VTQ action plan, which was launched following last year’s results debacle that saw around 21,000 BTEC and Cambridge Technical (CTEC) results issued late, leaving students in limbo.

Ofqual chief regulator Jo Saxton (pictured) said: “As astonishing as it seems, never have we had a definitive picture of the number of vocational and technical results expected ahead of results day, even though this has been in place for GCSEs and A-levels for many years.

“Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of words about parity, but the publication of this data represents the first concrete actions in securing parity for all students.

“Every student deserves the chance to move on quickly and smoothly to the next stage of their career after working hard to obtain their qualifications – whether they study VTQs or A-levels or a combination.”

Despite its promises of parity, the data published today is sparse compared to the equivalent release for A-levels and GCSEs.

Earlier this month, Ofqual published 2023 data which broke GCSE and A-level entry data down by subject and provider type.

FE Week has asked Ofqual for a further breakdown of their VTQ entry data as this was not initially released.

Ofqual said the entries data is the culmination of 2,500 schools and colleges in England confirming with awarding organisations which of their students expect to get level 3 VTQ results this summer.

The watchdog is working with a new VTQ Taskforce, made up of sector representatives, to oversee the delivery of its VTQ action plan.

David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “With an economy crying out for people with technical skills, it is pleasing to see just how many young people are on course to achieve VTQs this summer.

“We should celebrate their successes just as much we do the achievements of their peers doing A-levels; and now we can see the huge number expecting a result, we can begin to understand the positive impact this part of the education system has on the economy and on young people’s lives.”

The VTQ taskforce members are:

.             Association of Colleges (Catherine Sezen, Interim Director of Education Policy)

 .            Association of School and College Leaders (Dr Anne Murdoch, Senior Adviser, College Leadership)

 .            Confederation of School Trusts (Steve Rollett, Deputy Chief Executive)

 .            Department for Education (Directors, Qualifications) (Observers)

 .            Federation of Awarding Bodies (Tom Bewick, CEO)

 .            Joint Council for Qualifications (Ian Morgan, Chairman, Margaret Farragher, CEO)

 .            NAHT (Sarah Hannafin, Senior Policy Advisor)

 .            National Association of Examinations Officers (Jugjit Chima, CEO)

 .            OCR (Jill Duffy, CEO)

 .            Office for Students (John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation)

 .            Pearson (Freya Thomas-Monk, SVP Vocational Qualifications & Training)

 .            Sixth Form Colleges Association (Bill Watkin, Chief Executive)

 .            UCAS (Clare Marchant, Chief Executive)

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