Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Government Says Less Is More as Qualifications Fall

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Government Says Less Is More as Qualifications Fall

Article excerpt

Awards are down 7% in newly streamlined 'rigorous' system

The number of vocational qualifications being awarded to learners in England has fallen for only the second time in the past eight years, after the government cut funding for courses it said did not deliver quality education.

Ofqual figures show that 654,100 fewer vocational qualifications were awarded in the 2013-14 academic year than in 2012-13. Numbers were down from 9,188,300 to 8,534,200, a drop of 7 per cent.

Earlier this year, the Skills Funding Agency targeted resources towards qualifications that aligned with the government's skills policy, removing funding from those that were not deemed to give learners sufficient knowledge or skills to progress into employment or further learning.

A government spokesperson said: "This may have had the effect of reducing the total number of certificates awarded, but we feel that the rigour and relevance of vocational qualifications is more important than numbers alone. …

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