Statement on Ofqual position paper regarding Vocational and Technical Qualifications and Assessments 2020-21

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on education and training in the summer of 2020. We know that some of the challenges we have faced will continue into 2020-21 and that this will impact the delivery of many vocational qualifications in some way.

In the light of this, Ofqual have released a paper which outlines the factors being considered, to design a suitable approach for 2020-21. The paper outlines the key principles that awarding bodies are likely to be asked to follow when considering how qualifications may need to be adapted to reduce the impact on learners.

Any changes that are made will seek to maximise the manageability of the assessments, secure consistency between the approaches awarding bodies take to similar qualifications and that changes should not disadvantage or advantage vocational learners against their peers taking general qualification such as A Levels and GCSEs. However, any changes must not undermine the validity and reliability of the qualifications.

Most vocational qualifications taken by learners in Wales are also available in the other UK nations, so to ensure consistency we work closely with our fellow regulators. We support the principles and approaches set out in Ofqual’s paper and will continue to work with them and awarding bodies on developing the way forward for vocational qualifications for 2020-21.

Some of the adaptations we have put in place for Wales-only qualifications for Summer 2020 will continue into the autumn such as those for learners expecting to complete their qualifications in Health and Social Care and Child Care and the Essential Skills Wales before November. However, we are working to identify what challenges lie ahead for learners and centres over the next year and put appropriate arrangements in place. We will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so.