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5 things today's BTEC results tell us

More than 430,000 BTEC qualifications were taken in the past academic year, new data shows

btect college qualifications FE

More than 430,000 BTEC qualifications were taken in the past academic year, new data shows

Today saw the publication of the annual BTEC Results data for 2018 – months after education secretary Damian Hinds said there was a place for the qualifications, and that not every young person was suited to A levels.

It was his strongest hint yet that applied general qualifications (AGs) could be here to stay.

Following the Sainsbury review, it had been expected that they would be axed, and the government said in its T-level action plan that “T levels will replace most of the technical provision currently funded for 16- to 19-year-olds”, leaving a question mark over the future of the applied general, which includes BTECs. 

Here are five things we can learn from today's BTEC results

  • There were more than 430,000 BTEC qualifications taken in the past academic year. It was the second year in which students could do the new reformed Level 3 BTEC Nationals.
  • Girls outperform boys in almost all subjects, with 3.8 per cent of female students achieving the top grade on the new Extended Diploma, compared with 2.4 per cent of male learners. At level 2 on the First Award, 15 per cent of females achieved the top-grade D*, compared with 9 per cent male learners.
  • More female students than males are taking applied science, positioning them for careers such as medical research, and health & social care, in a context of significant demand across medical professions
  • At Level 3, the five most popular subjects on the new BTEC Nationals are business, health & social care, applied science, information technology/computing and sport
  • At Level 2, the five most popular subjects are sport, health & social care, business, performing arts and ICT

Rod Bristow, president of Pearson in the UK, said: “I’d like to congratulate all BTEC students for their achievements and wish them every future success as they look to the next phase of their lives, whether that’s into employment, an apprenticeship or on to higher education. It’s great to see students choosing subjects that will lead them into a successful career, such as health and social care, applied science and ICT/computing.

“BTEC complements the forthcoming job-focused T levels with broader and more career-focused pathways, responding to the needs of employers in a fast-changing world. They provide a wider choice of high-quality educational routes, equipping students with the skills needed to progress into successful careers – key to the UK’s economic future.”


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