Revised IT qualifications | Pearson qualifications

Redevelopment of our IT qualifications

22 December 2011

Due to changes in government policy, we are revising our IT portfolio, including GCSE ICT, the BTEC Level 2 First in IT and DiDA.

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Government policy

Performance Table Reforms

In October 2011, the Department for Education (DfE) announced its reforms to Key Stage 4 performance tables. These reforms include the introduction of a list of qualifications that will, from 2014 onwards, contribute to the school’s headline measures, including ‘five GCSEs at A*-C (or equivalent)’ and ‘five GCSEs at A*-C (or equivalent) including English and maths’.

In order to feature on this list, qualifications must demonstrate a number of characteristics, including an element of external assessment, a minimum size and grading.

Confirmation of the changes to GCSEs from Ofqual

Following the consultation on GCSE reforms, Ofqual has now confirmed the following changes to all GCSEs in England.

  • All GCSE assessment will become linear, meaning that GCSE examinations are taken at the end of the course.
  • The availability of examinations will be restricted to the summer only, removing the potential for resitting units.

Our suite of qualifications

To ensure our qualifications meet the new requirements and continue to attract recognition in the headline measures, we are making some changes

BTEC Information and Creative Technology

We’ve designed this new BTEC to provide learners with an understanding of, and the key skills required to work in, the information and creative technology industries. The aim is to inspire and enthuse learners to become technology-savvy by providing a choice of units to meet the needs of different types of learners on different pathways. Teacher-led assessment remains at the heart of this BTEC; however, we are introducing an element of external assessment. This will comprise up to 25% of the total assessment for the qualification and will take the form of an onscreen test.

The qualifications in the suite are:

  • BTEC Level 2 First in I&CT Award – 120 GLH (submitted for accreditation)
  • BTEC Level 2 First in I&CT Certificate – 240 GLH (in development)
  • BTEC Level 2 First in I&CT Extended Certificate – 360 GLH (in development)

Our revised qualifications should be ready for first teaching in September 2012, subject to accreditation by Ofqual. For the Award, draft specifications and SAMs are now available. We will continue to update all our BTEC customers as the development progresses via email and on our website.


We have also revised the Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Digital Applications and have introduced an element of external assessment, which will take the form of a practical, computer-based task.

The qualifications in the suite are:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications – 120 GLH (submitted for accreditation)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Digital Applications – 240 GLH (in development).

Our revised qualifications should be ready for first teaching in September 2012. As development progresses, we'll keep you updated via emails and the DiDA area of the Edexcel website.

We're planning to start work on new Level 1 qualifications shortly.


Over the coming months, we will provide you with detailed information and support to help you plan and deliver GCSE ICT in a linear fashion.

We have no plans to change the specification content or the nature of the controlled assessment.


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