English language requirements for applicants to BTEC level 4 to 7 programmes

Thu Mar 06 13:00:00 UTC 2014

We’ve issued new guidance to centres about English language requirements for applicants to BTEC higher level programmes. 

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For parity and consistency, we expect centres delivering BTEC level 4 to 7 programmes to ensure that all non-native English-speaking students, and those who haven’t studied the final two years of school in English, can demonstrate capability in English at a standard equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels identified below: 

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B1 for a level 4 or 5 BTEC qualification
  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2 for a level 6 or 7 BTEC qualification.

Exceptions can only be made for applicants who fit either of these descriptions:

  • gifted students, defined as those who, by virtue of their exceptional talent, show potential for high performance in the subject area
  • competent at CEFR level B1 and expected to reach level B2 after a short period of language training before the main course commences.

A non-native English-speaking student studying a level 6 or 7 BTEC qualification must be able to provide evidence of reaching level B2.

Our Standards Verifiers (EE) will expect centres to demonstrate that their students meet these requirements.

Higher level BTEC programmes require students to demonstrate advanced levels of knowledge and understanding in their subject. For students to be successful, it's critical that they have an appropriate level of English language skills.

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