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The road to merger

1996 JANUARY

RSA Examinations Board and University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) form alliance for delivery of vocational and academic programmes.

1996 MARCH

Dearing review of16-19 qualifications proposes cut in number of exam boards and awarding bodies.

Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) forms partnership with City Guilds to widen range of vocational qualificationsin Wales.

1996 APRIL

Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) and University of London Examinations and Assessment Council (ULEAC) merge to form Edexcel - the first unitary authority.

1996 SEPTEMBER

City Guilds announces alliance with Northern Examinations and Assessment Board (NEAB) to simplify exam entry system.

1996 DECEMBER

Gillian Shephard, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, consults overrationalisation of exam boards and awarding bodies.

1997 MARCH

Associated Examining Board (AEB) announces intention to join alliance with NEAB and City Guilds.

1997 JUNE

Baroness Blackstone, the minister for further and higher education, says there should be threeunitary awarding bodies each offering GCSEs, A-levels and GNVQs.

1997 OCTOBER

RSA and UCLES announce they will form unitaryawarding body to be known as OCR from January 1998.

1997 NOVEMBER

Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) launched by AEB, City Guilds and NEAB.

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