Closed petition Allow teacher predicted grades for BTEC students
The government should allow BTEC students to achieve teacher predicted grades rather than being forced into a system that is unethically downgrading thousands of students grades.
To allow fairness to all Students within the education system
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
Parliament debated this topic
This topic was debated on 15 March 2021
This response was given on 17 February 2021
Exams for vocational and technical qualifications are only continuing currently where they signal occupational competency. We will announce arrangements for summer term exams by end of February.
Read the response in full
Students have worked hard and prepared for their exams and assessments for vocational and technical qualifications, including many BTECs, so it is right that schools and colleges had the option to run them in January.
Unlike GCSE and A level exams that were due to take place this summer, students’ study and preparation for their January vocational and technical exams had not been disrupted by the new public health measures we announced on 5 January to help limit the transmission of coronavirus.
Some students need to complete an occupational or professional competency assessment to enter into the workplace – it is important they continue to have the opportunity to do so, so that they are not prevented from progressing onto the next stage of their lives.
The Department for Education has provided advice to schools and colleges on the extensive protective measures needed to make exam halls as safe as possible, which is why schools and colleges delivered the January assessments, if they judged it right to do so. The advice is part of guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision) on implementing safely the phased return to face-to-face education.
The Department for Education is working with Ofqual on arrangements for those students who did not take their January assessments, as well as for vocational and technical exams and assessments scheduled for February onwards. Responses to the public consultation (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-alternative-arrangements-for-the-award-of-vtqs-and-other-general-qualifications-in-2021) are currently being analysed. The arrangements will make sure qualifications are awarded fairly and consistently, so that no student is either advantaged or disadvantaged when compared to their peers. We aim to publish the response to the consultation by the end of February.
Department for Education
Other parliamentary business
Government update on summer 2021 qualifications
On Thursday 25 February, the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson MP gave a statement to the House of Commons on education recovery and qualifications. In his statement he described how grades for qualifications including GCSEs, A-Levels and BTECs in England will be awarded this summer.
The Government have announced that students, including those taking some vocational qualifications, will receive grades determined by their teachers. Teachers will have the option of using questions provided by exam boards.
Find out more about how this will work:
Read the Government statement here:
Read a blog from the Chief Regulator of the exams watchdog Ofqual, with more detail about the arrangements, here:
What is a Minister?
Ministers are the MPs and members of the House of Lords who are in the Government. They are appointed by the Prime Minister and each given a specific area of government policy to oversee, for example education, health and social care, or national defence. Some senior Ministers are also referred to as Secretaries of State.
Ministers speak on behalf of the Government during parliamentary debates and must answer questions put to them by other MPs or members of the House of Lords.
What is a ministerial statement?
Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of MPs, often at short notice. You can find out more about them here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/statements/
Education Committee to hold session on student grades
The Education Select Committee has announced that it will be holding a meeting on 9 March to consider the new arrangements for determining student grades. The Committee is a cross-party group of MPs which scrutinises the work of the Department for Education and is independent of the Government.
It will hear from Ofqual and the Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb MP. You can find out more about that session, and the topics it is likely to cover, here:
Find out more about the Education Committee:
The Education Committee is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c
Petitions Committee schedules debate on the impact of Covid-19 on education
On Monday 15 March, MPs will debate the impact of Covid-19 on education, in response to several petitions including the petition you have signed.
Watch the debate (from 6.15pm, Mon 15 March): https://youtu.be/_Iz2Jk-KPHE
Read the debate transcript (available shortly after the conclusion of the debate): https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-03-15
Follow the Committee on Twitter and join the discussion using #Covid19EducationDebate: https://www.twitter.com/hocpetitions
The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Tom Hunt MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and the Government will send a Minister to respond.
What are petitions debates?
Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.