Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Department for Education press release that a consultation will be launched on Wednesday seeking views on plans to reform post-16 qualifications at level 2 and below.
“We welcome the government’s review of skills at level 2 and below. Thousands of students in schools and colleges use these qualifications as stepping stones into employment, apprenticeships and level 3 qualifications. We are looking forward to receiving the views of our members but will be extremely disappointed if the outcome of this consultation follows the path of the recent level 3 review. In that review the education sector came out overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining BTECs, but this has been totally ignored by the government. We hope that this consultation will not have similar pre-ordained outcomes, especially as it is our most disadvantaged students who are likely to fare worse.
“Level 2 qualifications are trusted by students, parents, providers and employers alike and are not easily slotted into the same academic, technical and alternative categories currently being proposed for higher qualifications, including those at level 3.
“We hope that any review will not lose the distinct nature of level 2 qualifications for the third of students who need this vital stepping stone.”