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Still studying the key skills question

PROFESSOR Alison Wolf (TES, August 14) argues for decoupling key skills from the GNVQ. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is looking carefully at the arguments for and against retaining key skills as a mandatory part of the GNVQ, drawing on the findings of the pilot.

The second year of the pilot starts in September and involves more than 200 schools, colleges and work-based centres. Some centres offer key skills alongside A-levels, NVQs or other qualifications. The results of the pilot will strongly influence our final recommendation on how to make the new key skills qualification both manageable and rigorous.

One scenario posed by Professor Wolf - thousands of GNVQ students sitting at PCs on the same day to complete their IT assignments - will not happen. Banks of questions will be used to give students and centres some discretion over timing.

Geoff Lucas

Head of Corporate Policy

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

29 Bolton Street, London W1

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