Our response to the #ProtectStudentChoice campaign

Qualification news | 29 July 2021

Today, twelve organisations that represent and support staff and students in schools, colleges and universities have written (PDF | 148KB) to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urging him to reconsider restricting students’ choice of qualifications at the age of 16. 

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The #ProtectStudentChoice campaign focuses on the Department for Education’s current review of post-16 qualifications at Level 3, which puts government funding at risk for many applied general qualifications such as BTECs. The letter warns that “many young people will be adversely affected by this proposal, but disadvantaged students have the most to lose”.

They have also launched a petition to reverse the plan to remove funding for BTEC qualifications.

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice-President of BTEC and Apprenticeships at Pearson, responded in support of the campaign and petition:

"We have always warned that policy makers should not lose sight of what is working well already - namely existing high-quality qualifications that are respected by employers, universities and students alike, be they BTECs or other vocational qualifications. Millions of learners have taken these qualifications, over decades, and they've supported access and progression into Higher Education, Apprenticeships, Employment and further training.
"The education sector agrees, and we wholeheartedly welcome the new #ProtectStudentChoice campaign started by 12 organisations in defence of Applied General qualifications.
"The narrowing and limiting of choice of qualifications post-16 will have a negative impact on learners, higher education, employers and the economy. Evidence shows that there is a serious risk that the proposals would reverse recent trends to widen diversity and broaden inclusion."