The SFA’s refusal to publish or share a list of over 400 level two and three qualifications, which for 2016/17 lose their 19-23 core entitlement funding, is hard to understand.

From my perspective as a former curriculum planner at a college, I have a great deal of sympathy for providers over this.

Yes, we are talking about a fairly technical issue.

But colleges and awarding bodies struggle every year to wade through all manner of guidance and data explaining new eligibility and performance criteria for qualifications.

The least the SFA could do is publish full details of what they have changed.

And the decision to consult on the changes over just 14 working days encompassing a half term college and school break was ill-considered.

I totally understand why NCFE and the Federation of Awarding Bodies complained about it being too rushed — so it’s no surprise that 428 qualifications did not receive any submissions.

When you add the subsequent refusal to list the qualifications stripped of their entitlement status to the equation, you could be forgiven for suspecting that the government hoped that no-one would notice the changes at all.


Nick Linford is editor of FE Week

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