Proposals have been announced in England relating to the reform of applied and vocational qualifications for 16-19 year olds. The new ‘Tech Levels’ and ‘Applied General’ qualifications, announced today, will be on a par with A level and are intended for first teaching in September 2014. These changes follow on from the review of vocational education undertaken by Professor Alison Wolf, published in March 2011.
Paul Craine, Co-ordinating Adviser for 11-19 Education, commented:
‘The Department of Education and Children broadly welcomes progress towards the development of high quality vocational qualifications with equivalence to A levels. The introduction of Tech Levels represent a considerable initiative that will need careful planning, especially at a time when almost every other part of the qualifications system is also being reformed. We are aware that this is an ambitious change and that it needs to be part of a coherently planned curriculum alongside A levels, with collaboration between the secondary schools and Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education.
‘Planned reforms in England relating to GCSEs are due to be implemented for the first teaching of new English and maths qualifications in 2015, with other subjects to follow in subsequent years. Reforms in A levels are also due to take effect from 2015. The details of these reforms are still being clarified following consultations in England.
‘The Department recognises that the Isle of Man has alternative options alongside, or beyond, the English proposals and anticipates that there will be a public consultation in the spring term on the best way forward for pupils and schools in the Isle of Man.’