DfE Advanced British Standard consultation

The Department for Education (DfE) is seeking to introduce  a new Baccalaureate-style qualification framework for 16 to 19 year-olds, the Advanced British Standard (ABS), over the next decade. This is far reaching reform of A levels and T levels as we know them, and a cull of other level 3 qualifications to improve the overall education system to become better suited for the modern landscape of society within the UK. Although politically loaded, this may be an opportunity to influence forward thinking.

The ABS framework offers greater breadth to 16-19 education than the existing level 3 qualifications; getting students to study a wider range of subjects, increasing contact time, providing more emphasis on Maths and English and simplifying the number and type of qualifications on offer to help students make choices which better prepare them for work or further study.

The consultation sets out proposals on the way the ABS could work. The EPC has joined a taskforce including Engineering UK, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Council to lead on an Engineering sector response. We largely intend to stay out of the weeds (and the devil is in the detail) and highlight the key points supplemented with evidence where available.

Read a draft EPC executive response to the taskforce outlining our key initial feedback, together with an EngineeringUK summary of the key consultation themes. Between now and 5th March, the EPC will be leading the sector response on Chapter 3: assessment and grading.

Please share any feedback on assessment and grading, or respond to any other key components the in the comments below, or by emailing s.fowler@epc.ac.uk by 29th February 2024.

The consultation deadline is 20th March 2024.

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