Ofqual has hit out at confusion caused by old-style BTECs still being offered alongside the reformed versions of the qualifications.
Addressing the Commons Education Select Committee today, Ofqual chair Roger Taylor said he would back moves by the Department for Education to stop funding the older versions of BTECs.
The warning comes after Ofqual research published in December found “sound evidence of unwarranted grade inflation” with the older-style level 3 qualifications. The qualifications regulator has called on awarding organisations to take action.
When asked today about both types of BTECs being available, Mr Taylor acknowledged that the “new applied generals [including BTECs] are more rigorous and more manageable in terms of ensuring standards than the old style [qualifications], that is true”.
'A situation that creates confusion'
He told the MPs: “I think this is an issue, not dissimilar to the IGCSE issue.”
“First of all I would say that I think the reforms to the BTECs are improving standards,” Mr Taylor added. “I think there was an expectation that when the old-style BTECs were taken away from performance tables, they would cease to be used. That has not come about.
“I agree this is a situation that creates a confusion and we fully support the moves by the Department to cease funding for the old style qualifications… We [should] just have one version of the qualification; I think is where we need to get to.”
While Mr Taylor said that universities “do know the difference” between different types of BTECs, “they are not using the information as much as we would expect them to in determining university applications”.
The Department for Education’s review of level 3 qualifications, to decide which should be funded for school leavers, is currently ongoing.