On 18 June 2014, the Department for Education published a document defining the characteristics for the vocational qualifications that will be recognised in the 2017/18 Key Stage 4 performance tables.
Page 11 of the new technical guidance states that:
'The study of EBacc subjects at the age of 14 to 16 is best served through the teaching of reformed GCSEs. To avoid a proliferation of alternative qualifications in EBacc subjects (English, mathematics, sciences, including computer science, languages, history and geography), qualifications in these subjects, or applied versions of these subjects, will not be approved as Technical Awards.*'
*‘Technical Awards’ is a new term to describe qualifications approved by the DfE for recognition in performance tables. It is not a new type of qualification.
Implications for BTEC Firsts in Applied Science
Both the BTEC First Awards in Principles of Applied Science and Application of Science continue to be eligible for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 school performance tables in England.
BTEC First Awards in Principles of Applied Science and Application of Science can count as alternatives to GCSE Science and Additional Science in the Progress 8 measure for 2016 results (as 2 of the 3 vocational subjects). A learner could take GCSE Science followed by BTEC Application of Science and both qualifications may count†.
From 2017 performance tables onwards, both these BTEC First Applied Science qualifications will no longer be eligible to be included.
What does this mean for learners starting BTEC First Awards in Applied Science in September 2014?
The table below details how the achievements of learners beginning the BTEC First Awards in Principles of Applied Science and/or Application of Science this September will be represented in performance tables.
|Start date||KS4 year group||Performance table||Will the qualifications be eligible for performance tables?|
|September 2014||Year 11||2015||BTEC Principles of Applied Science and BTEC Application of Science will both be eligible for performance tables in 2015, as they are now, and can both count in 5 A* - C headline measures*.|
|September 2014||Year 10||2016||BTEC Principles of Applied Science and BTEC Application of Science will both be eligible for performance tables in 2016, and can both count in the new Progress 8 measure*.|
|September 2014||Year 9||2017||These learners can continue to take the BTEC Principles of Applied Science and BTEC Application of Science, but their qualifications will not count toward school performance tables.|
*There is a limit on the number of non-GCSEs recognised in the performance tables, so the BTECs may not count if there are other eligible results that are better.
If you have any questions or require further clarification on how this announcement affects your learners, please contact our dedicated team of science specialists. You can email them directly at TeachingScience@pearson.com or call 0844 576 0037.
For more guidance, see below: