Announcing Pearson qualifications in 2017 performance tables for Key Stage 4 students in England

19 February 2015

We’re delighted to announce that the Department for Education (DfE) has accepted the majority of the qualifications we submitted for the 2017 Key Stage 4 performance tables in England.

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If you believe BTECs are the right choice for your learners, you can deliver the qualifications included on the 2017 list with confidence that your students’ achievements will continue to be recognized in performance tables in 2017:

  • Animal Care
  • Art and Design
  • Business
  • Childcare
  • Construction and the Built Environment
  • Creative Media Production
  • Digital Applications (CiDA)
  • Engineering
  • Health and Social Care
  • Hospitality
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Sport
  • Travel and Tourism

Read a summary of the Pearson qualifications included in the 2017 Key Stage 4 performance tables in England. 

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The DfE has not accepted the following qualifications: 

  • BTEC First Award in Information and Creative Technology
  • BTEC First Award in Equine Studies

These qualifications are still available to teach, but they will not count toward performance measures in 2017. If performance measures are important to your centre, then from 2015, you’ll need to switch to a qualification included on the 2017 list.

BTEC Firsts in I&CT

Our Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA), is an effective alternative to the BTEC First Award in Information and Creative Technology, and will count towards performance measures in 2017.

BTEC First Award in Equine Studies

Our BTEC First Award in Animal Care provides a relevant alternative to the BTEC First Award in Equine Studies. The qualification is funded, accredited and included on the performance measures list for 2017. It gives a good all round grounding in the field of animal care, enabling learners to specialise at level 3.

What’s changed for 2017?

You’ll notice a couple of changes to the 2017 performance tables compared with previous years:

For the 2017 list (14-16 – Key Stage 4), the DfE has:

  • changed the criteria for inclusion on the 14-16 list and renamed this category the “Technical Award”

  • introduced a new level 2 category for 16-19 students – the “Technical Certificate”.

Any size of qualification can only be listed in one of these two categories. As a result, all awarding organisations have decided which level 2 qualifications should be put forward:

  • as Technical Awards (14-16): We submitted our Award (120 GLH) size

  • for the new Technical Certificates list (16-19): We submitted our Extended Certificate (360 GLH) and Diploma (480 GLH) sizes.

For the 2017 performance tables, the DfE has confirmed that, in EBacc subjects, they will not include any non-GCSE qualifications. (The only exception is IT, where some overlap with Computer Science GCSE might be allowed.)

This means that BTEC Firsts in Applied Science will no longer count towards Progress 8 performance measures from 2017. In practice, this comes into effect for your Year 10 cohort starting a two-year course in September 2015, or for a Year 11 cohort starting a one-year course in 2016.

You can still offer BTEC Firsts in Applied Science if you believe this is the right choice for these students, but you should be aware that their achievements will no longer count towards performance measures from 2017.

Explaining Progress 8

If you want more guidance on how performance tables and Progress 8 work in principle for schools in England, our policy team has created some simple, step-by-step video guides.

Watch our Progress 8 video guides

Contact us

We’re here to help, so if you’d like to talk this through with one of our subject experts, you can get in touch through our contact us page.

Wales and Northern Ireland

If you want to understand how performance tables work in Wales or Northern Ireland, please do get in contact with our Territory Managers:

Paul Montague

Territory Manager, Schools, Wales


Jacqui Allen

Territory Manager, FE, Wales


Fiona Callaghan

Territory Manager, Schools and FE, Northern Ireland



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