Gove launches technology focused Tech-bacc as vocational equivalent to A levels

Michael Gove has announced the technical baccalaureate qualification “providing an alternative to the A level study route for post-16 education”. It will be introduced for courses beginning in September 2014, reported for the first time in the college and school sixth-form performance tables in January 2017.

It will be a performance measure marking achievement by young people aged 16 to 19 consisting of 3 elements:

  • a high-quality level 3 vocational qualification – only the best courses, recognised by employers, will continue to count in league tables; a list of these courses will be published towards the end of the year
  • a level 3 ‘core maths’ qualification, including AS level maths (further information about core maths courses for post-16 students will be published by the Department for Education (DfE) in due course)
  • the extended project, which will develop and test students’ skills in extended writing, communication, research, and self-discipline and self-motivation

The Government says it will be “rigorous and challenging, finally giving vocational education the high status it deserves – putting it on a par with A level study and recognising excellence” and a “ first-class alternative to the more traditional A level route, ensuring students have the technical ability employers want, and giving Britain the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global race.”

What do we think?  As a sector, we know that applicants to HE Engineering who have BTEC and other non A level qualifications tend to do well.  And the inclusion of Maths as a key element to this qualification is to be welcomed.  But do let us have your views…

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