334,000 Level 3 VTQs due to be awarded to students this summer

Action Plan milestone signals first significant step towards parity of treatment across qualifications

Ofqual is today revealing that more than 334,000 results for vocational and technical qualifications are due to be issued this August, in a move that marks the first significant step towards parity of treatment between A levels and Level 3 VTQs. Every year A Level entries are published, but this is the first year ever that similar data has been published for VTQs.

The publication is the first milestone in Ofqual’s Action Plan to deliver parity of treatment, and is the culmination of 2,500 schools and colleges in England confirming with awarding organisations which of their students expect to get Level 3 VTQ results this summer.

Ofqual Chief Regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, said: “As astonishing as it seems, never have we had a definitive picture of the number of vocational and technical results expected ahead of results day, even though this has been in place for GCSEs and A levels for many years.

“I am personally committed to doing everything I can to deliver parity of treatment across qualifications. Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of words about parity, but the publication of this data represents the first concrete actions in securing parity for all students. I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to complete the first stage of the VTQ Action Plan. There is still, of course, more work to be done in the coming weeks and months and I would urge school and college leaders to ensure their staff continue to engage with awarding organisations in this final strait of qualification delivery.

“Every student deserves the chance to move on quickly and smoothly to the next stage of their career after working hard to obtain their qualifications – whether they study VTQs or A levels or a combination.”

Ofqual launched this work last December in its VTQ Results Action Plan, which sets out steps and expectations of awarding organisations to make sure students receive their results when they expect them. Ofqual is working with a new VTQ Taskforce, made up of sector representatives, to oversee its delivery. The data shared today was obtained through the completion of the first checkpoint as set out in the plan.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, said: “With an economy crying out for people with technical skills, it is pleasing to see just how many young people are on course to achieve VTQs this summer.

“We should celebrate their successes just as much we do the achievements of their peers doing A levels; and now we can see the huge number expecting a result, we can begin to understand the positive impact this part of the education system has on the economy and on young people’s lives.”

Dr Saxton has also written to schools and colleges this week thanking them for the progress so far and urging everyone involved to keep up the momentum so that students taking Level 3 VTQs will get results as planned by Thursday 17 August.