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BTec Nationals: Who are the students who didn’t just do A-levels?

BTec Nationals: Who are the students who didn’t just do A-levels?

The summer ritual of A-level results day is so well known it’s easy to forget the thousands of students receiving their BTec National results.

Coronavirus has disrupted all courses, including vocational qualifications, so what is happening to ensure vocational students are getting fair grades?

What are BTec Nationals?

Studied over one or two years, BTec Nationals are vocational qualifications which provide work-based skills across areas including business, health care and engineering.

They are assessed over the course of the qualification through exams, practical coursework and often placements.

They can be used to attend university (similar to A-levels), although many people take them so they have the skills for a specific occupation.

How are BTecs being marked this year?

Colleges and schools have been closed almost entirely since the end of March, meaning much of the coursework and exam-based assessments that make up BTecs will not have happened.

In April, the qualifications regulator Ofqual said that the numerous bodies who set technical or vocational qualifications – such as BTec Nationals – would be responsible for deciding how to grade this.

For many students, this will be based on completed assessments and predicted results for those assessments that didn’t happen. These will then be adapted based on whether the predicted grades are higher than usual for a particular college.

Ofqual has said that, where vocational qualifications are being used to progress to university, they should try and use this method.

Some courses which rely on require practical assessments, such as lab work or childcare, have been adapted. For example, by using video calls to allow assessments to be done while still complying with social distancing rules.

Read full news on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-49279219

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