Coronavirus: Ofqual admits teacher assessment not possible for all vocational qualifications

Ofqual is “urgently” working out how to calculate grades for students studying vocational and technical qualifications this year, but the “complex landscape” means there is not a “one size fits all” solution.

Last week the government announced that the upcoming summer exams series has been scrapped amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, it was revealed that teacher assessments will be used to provide calculated grades for A-level and GCSE students this year.

Ofqual, the exams regulator, said today they are “considering” how similar arrangements to those could be applied to vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs), which include tech levels and applied generals, such as BTECs.

Some form of teacher calculated grade, or “other form of estimation based on assessment that has already taken place”, will be “possible in many cases”.

But for other qualifications, it “might be more appropriate to adapt the assessment or delivery arrangements so that everyone can have confidence in the outcome”.

“And for some qualifications that signify occupational competence or award a licence to practise in safety-critical industries, assessment might need to be delayed in order to ensure public safety and meet the needs of employers,” Ofqual continued.

“There are many different types of qualification, awarding organisations, learner groups and assessment approaches, so the landscape is complex and it is clear that one size will not fit all circumstances.”

The exams regulator said it is working with the Department for Education, awarding organisations, other regulators and the wider sector to “develop and publish a clear approach for the different categories of VTQs in the coming days”.

“We are working as quickly as possible to develop an approach which enables learners to get the qualifications they deserve and that they need to progress,” they added.

The aim for GCSE and A-levels is to provide grades to learners before the end of July. FE Week has asked if this goal also applies to VTQs.

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