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BTEC Qualifications Axed! What happens now?

Discussion in 'Science' started by fiendishlyclever, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    There aren't any good qualifications for SEN children and low achievers as Mr Gove moves us backwards to a Victorian education system. He doesn't seem to care about those at the bottom - only those at the top end. GCSE exams don't suit my students with their new terminal assessments - nice work Mr Gove!
  2. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Less able learners can still complete BTECs. They will not be equivalent to GCSEs anymore because they are very different - is a woodlouse equivalent to a banana.
    Whta is does mean is that schools will not be able to use qualifications that were worth multiple GCSEs to boost themselves up the league tables. If they think that these qualifications are the most suitable for their students then they will still offer them; if not then they will be entered for other courses that may be better.
  3. This change was overdue. It was wrong to pretend that these multiple award bearing courses were worth several GCSEs and I am glad it will not continue. Our weakest scientists will do Core GCSE along side Entry Level Science, as they always have.
  4. Roboteer

    Roboteer New commenter

    The BTEC Level 2 extended certificate in Applied Science is still eligible for inclusion in the reportable grades.
    The current spec can be included up until and including summer 2014 so you can start new year 10 classes on this in September if you wish.
    Edexcel currently have a new spec in with the QCA for approval and this should replace the current one. The extended certificate is being split into two parts, each with an external exam.
    I would presume that Edexcel are aiming for both the new qualifications to be eligible for inclusion so lower ability pupils would be able to complete just one of them rather than needing to complete the extended certificate (currently equivalent to double) to count as one qualification in the new league tables.
  5. "The current spec can be included up until and including summer 2014 so you can start new year 10 classes on this in September if you wish."
    Is that definitely true? I was trying to find the answer to that on Edexcel's website but couldn't find it anywhere. So current Y9 classes could get this in Summer 2014 (i.e. rather than starting the new course)?
  6. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    I thought that the new specifications that edexcel are currently working on will count in the league tables?
  7. Edexcelscienceteam

    Edexcelscienceteam New commenter

    To clarify the situation.
    For 2014, vocational qualifications that have been included in the DfE lists will be included in the 5A* to C measure and count as one of the 5 subjects. Two vocational qualifications can be counted towards this measure. The current (2010) Extended Certificate and Diploma in Applied Science will count in 2014 5A*-C measures. We are in the process of seeking accreditation for 2 Awards to replace the current extended certificate. These can be passed at Level 1, but are designed primarily as Level 2 qualifications that can be awarded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. Subject to Ofqual accreditation by the beginning of March, the DfE will then take a view on whether the Awards meet the criteria they have outlined for inclusion in performance measures in 2014 and beyond. We believe that both Awards fully meet the criteria.
    Year 9 learners currently following the QCF Extended Certificate or Diploma will have their results recognised in the 2014 tables. The QCF Certificate, at 90 glh, is smaller than the size the DfE will recognise for performance measures from 2014 and so results for this qualification will not count in 2014. Learners starting a BTEC Science course in September 2012 must take the new NQF Awards if the results are to be recognised for performance measures. Tables are based on results achieved by the end of KS4, so taking the QCF Extended Certificate or Diploma early (eg at the end of Y10 in 2014) will mean the results for these qualifications will not be counted when the learners complete KS4 in 2015.
    The Awards are (a) Principles of Applied Science, that covers the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study, and (b) Application of Science, which is designed to be taken after a learner has covered the Programme of Study via either a vocational (e.g. BTEC) or academic (e.g. GCSE Science) route. The qualifications do follow a compensatory model (similar to GCSE) to allow strong performance in one unit to be offset by weaker performance in another.
    (which we are in the process of redeveloping), or Level 1 qualifications. For some students, focussing on one Award through Key Stage 4 may also allow them time to develop their skills and understanding to the standard required to pass one Award at Level 2. Which of these options you choose is of course based on your judgement of the best approach for the students you teach. We have simply tried to introduce the flexibility you need to deliver the best option for the learner.
    Peter Canning
    Edexcel science team
  8. Roboteer

    Roboteer New commenter

    "Learners starting a BTEC Science course in September 2012 must take the new NQF Awards if the results are to be recognised for performance measures. Tables are based on results achieved by the end of KS4, so taking the QCF Extended Certificate or Diploma early (eg at the end of Y10 in 2014) will mean the results for these qualifications will not be counted when the learners complete KS4 in 2015."
    Can I ask for clarification on one point?
    Are we able to enter pupils who will be in Year 10 in September 2012 and therfore completing KS4 in Summer 2014 on the current (2010) specification?
    If we are not, can we enrol them at the end of this academic year (whilst they are in year 9) and then take them through it with accreditation in 2014?
    Thanks for giving such a detailed answer above. Does edexcel know whether if pupils completed both the Principles of Applied Science and Application of Science courses they will be able to vcount both in their 5 A*-C? I know there is a 2 vocational subject limit but have also heard mention of only one qualification from each subject area being countable. If the latter is so I also wonder whether we will be able to count 2 Science GCSEs in the 5 qualifications anymore.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    It's always been like that with easier qualifications. You tell them that this won't prepare them for A level, they accept this as they realise they'll probably get a D at best. The course is easier and they get a C and suddenly realise that they can get onto an A level course, but they end up not being much good at it as they have a non-academic qualification and are now trying to do an academic course.
    The daughter of a colleague is at uni and has a paid role as some kind of councellor/coach for 1st years who may struggle, the ones who have the hardest time and are most likely to leave are those who go with A-level "equivalent" qualifications, which of course, aren't really.
  10. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    The problem I have is when pupils are told that the BTEC is equivalent by schools who want to boost their results Strictly speaking they are correct, but teachers know full well that a BTEC merit is not equivalent to a GCSE 'B' grade, or they would put those pupils in for the GCSE. The pupils arrive at sixth form enrolment thinking they are fully qualified for an A level science course. It only affects small numbers, but those are each an individual who has not been dealt with fairly by the education system, and are planning for a career path they have no hope of following.
  11. Edexcelscienceteam

    Edexcelscienceteam New commenter

    You will be able to register Year 10 students by the beginning of November and if they complete the current QCF qualifications by summer 2014, their performance will be counted. It is year 9 students (in September 2012) who must enter for the new qualifications to have their performance counted in 2015.
    The DfE have not yet made a decision about whether both BTEC Awards will count for science towards the 5A* to C measure. They will not do this until the qualifications are accredited by Ofqual. However, both Science and Additional Science GCSEs can count towards this measure.
    Edexcel science team
  12. alessio

    alessio Administrator

    You're right! But could this change mean that some schools will drop BTEC altogether because they don't give them the boost in league tables they used to give? And could schools like Rob's above suffer as a result?
    Interesting questions and times.

    This is in reply to ScienceGuy!
  13. hi im aparent not a teacher but i have a son who is in yr 9needing some advice he left primary with level 5 and was on gifted and talented in yr 8 had parents evening and hes then teacher could not speak more highly of my son he achieved a level 8 in an assesment and hes then teacher said he should definatly take triple science .my son is now in yr 9 about to take options in 2 weeks just had hes yr 9 parents evening with a new teacher who is also new to school and it appears my sons levels have dropped we fully expected my son to go in top set wen he entered yr 9 but my son seems to think its not a top set ! in hes class he has told me there is a handfull of disruptive children and he is no longer getting wat he wants needs out of the lesson he would like to b put through 4 triple but i understand from talking to hes form tutor there is tighter regulations on triple and it appears my son from new teacher she may not put him through which i cannot understand as he was achieving so much in yr 8 .when i phoned school yesterday to talk to head of science i actully ended up speaking to new teacher who by the way is not head of science and was basically saying there is nothing wrong with double science my son is a high achiever in mostly all subjects and he was in science till recently any advice any 1 could give me would b greatly apprieated because i do not feel he should settle 4 double i would like him to b moved class may b in top set class setting to b givern a chance to c if we can get these levels back up to wat they were if u can help pls pls reply kind reguards
  14. telephonejunkie

    telephonejunkie New commenter

    What level has he achieved to date in KS3 science?
    If he has achieved a 6 or 7 you have a fairly strong argument for him to be allowed to take triple science.However, in some schools if the student isn't in the top 2 classes will insist that triple Sci has to taken as an option. Often this is due to timetabling restrictions.
    You need to talk with him about his desire to have a large proportion of his timetable taken up with science. On some days our triple students have 4 hours of science .....If you dont love the sciences it is hard for the kids to stomach this.
    On the other hand...What other options is your son considering? The school may be looking at the best subject fit for the others that he has talked about taking.
    Im just going through the same thing with my own son and he came up from middle school with level 5a , but he is now achieving the equivalent to 7a so he is having to take triple as one of his options.

  15. telephonejunkie

    telephonejunkie New commenter

    Re my previous reply
    " What level has he achieved to date in KS3 science?

    If he has achieved a 6 or 7 you have a fairly strong argument for him to be allowed to take triple science."
    I hadn't read your post properly sorry.[​IMG]
    The rest still stands
  16. he acheived a level 8 in 1of hes assesments he just got an e in a mock exam on work they hadnt touched on b 4 hes in yr 9 hes level 8 was in yr 8 ty 4 replying any other help with this info
  17. he has just informed me he was getting level 7s and 6 s on hes book work and assesments and the best was an 8 in an assesment
  18. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    I prefer taking assessments over a period of time rather than homework as a true measure of ability. I find that students who do well in homework (tidy hardworking girls to stereotype), do not always shine in tests and exams while the boys tend to show their ability.

    Does your son want to do science A levels? Triple science will make that a lot easier. I find in my A level classes that the top students are not necessarily those who have got the best GCSEs, which tend to reward diligence and an ability at English. Sciences become a lot more mathematical at A level, and some high flyers really struggle, while some with lesser paper qualifications really shine. I am guessing that your son does not like putting pen to paper to produce hours of immaculate work, but does well in problem solving (as he has done well in SATS papers).

    Push for triple science, and make sure he puts more effort into 'boring' classwork and homework to get the grades his teachers are looking for.

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