A “tiny percentage” of BTEC students will not receive their final grades this week, while hundreds of thousands of results were issued over the last few days in the run-up to today’s deadline.
A spokesperson for Pearson said that the organisation had reviewed and awarded around 450,000 BTEC grades to students at levels 1 to 3, “working round the clock to process eligible results”. However, the spokesperson added “a tiny percentage” of grades were ineligible, as was the case in every year. “
BTEC results: Final grades to be issued by 28 August
Need to know: Pearson pledges to review all calculated BTEC grades
They added: “This week, we have reviewed and awarded around 450,000 Level 1-3 BTEC grades to students, working round the clock to process eligible results. We’d like to congratulate all those students who have worked so hard to achieve these results. “BTECs are a modular qualification, and without all relevant grades for individual modules, we are unable to award an overall qualification grade. Where we believe there are areas of clarification, we are working closely with schools and colleges and as soon as we have the necessary data, will award grades as quickly as we can”.
Grades can be deemed ineligible where claims are made later than expected, or where Pearson lacks the necessary information to award a grade.
Last week, in a joint statement, the Department for Education, Ofqual and the Federation of Awarding Bodies said students should be reassured that awarding organisations were "working as hard as they can" to make sure learners are reissued their results "by Friday 28 August”.
This came after BTEC exam board Pearson said that due to concerns about the "comparatively higher outcomes" of A-level and GCSE students following the government's U-turn on grading, it would review all BTEC results. As a result, it has asked colleges and schools not to issue level 1 and 2 results in these qualifications on the day they were originally planned, and said level 3 results, already issued to most students by that point, would be reviewed. The organisation stressed no student would receive a lower grade as a result.
In a message to the FE sector last night, apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan said that following “concerted efforts by awarding organisations and yourselves, I would like to express huge congratulations to those who have now received their results and my thanks to those who helped make this happen”.
She added: "I know many of you are still working with awarding organisations to conclude a small number of results, including submitting or clarifying outstanding information. Thank you for your efforts to resolve these quickly. All results eligible to be released in August will be completed and with you by Friday 28 [August]. If on Friday a student who should have received their results did not, please do get in touch with the relevant awarding organisation to understand if they need any more information from you."
Larissa Kennedy, president of the NUS students' union, said it was "a disgrace that, through no fault of their own, some BTEC students are yet to receive their grades, after many weeks of delay."
"This is going to have a major impact on their chances of progression to university as we know many courses are now already full. This situation could have been avoided if the government had originally listened to our calls to move to centre assessed grades, rather than delaying the decisions further.”
The Pearson spokesperson said: “Following Ofqual’s announcement that A-level and GCSE students would receive centre assessed grades, we took the decision to apply the same principles for students receiving BTEC results and review the grading. No grades were revised down. We are truly sorry for any stress and uncertainty this review has caused to students but we believe this has resulted in the fairest outcomes for the 2020 BTEC cohort, ensuring they are not disadvantaged in relation to their peers who have taken A-level and GCSE qualifications.”
“As in every year, a tiny percentage of grades are ineligible. BTECs are a modular qualification, and without all relevant grades for individual modules, we are unable to award an overall qualification grade. Where we believe there are areas of clarification, we are working closely with schools and colleges and as soon as we have the necessary data, will award grades as quickly as we can.”
An Ofqual spokesperson said: “Awarding organisations have been working with schools, colleges and other providers, around the clock, to help ensure students receive their results. The overwhelming majority of vocational and technical qualifications results have now been issued or will be issued today.
“However, like every year, there is always a small number of students who will still be waiting to receive their grades. There are lots of different qualifications on offer, each with its own rules, and a range of information needed to finalise the results.”