The Department for Education (DfE) has published its final lists of technical and vocational qualifications approved for teaching from September 2015 and reporting in 2017 performance tables. The 2017 tables do not affect those pupils who complete their Key Stage 4 programme in 2016.
While many OCR vocational qualifications will count towards the 2017 tables, the Cambridge Nationals Certificate in ICT and the Cambridge Nationals Certificates in Science and Science in the Workplace have not been included on the final list, despite a forceful appeal by OCR. This is a disappointing result for us, for our schools and for our students.
The reason given for the omission of the Cambridge National in ICT is that it overlaps with the GCSE in Computer Science, and as this counts towards the EBacc measure, any overlapping qualification cannot have performance points as well. The DfE has said that schools and colleges can continue to teach this qualification if it is in their learners’ best interests.
Similarly, the reason given for the omission of both Cambridge National Sciences is that they overlap significantly with GCSEs in Science.
In anticipation of this news, OCR is supporting ICT teachers to move to other qualifications such as the Cambridge National Certificate in Creative iMedia which is included in the 2017 performance tables, as there are similarities in topics and many schools have already successfully made the move across. To make the transition as easy as possible, we are developing a full support package of training, delivery guides and resource. For schools interested in GCSEs as an alternative, OCR offers a rich range of GCSEs including Computing, ICT and individual sciences.
Charlotte Bosworth, OCR Skills and Employment Director, commented: "Despite strong arguments put by the team at OCR, the DfE has now confirmed its decision to omit Cambridge Nationals in ICT from the list of qualifications that count towards the 2017 tables. We will continue to run and support the qualification, regardless of whether it attracts performance points or not, to meet the needs of individual students.
"For those schools and colleges who wish to find an alternative however, we are rolling out a programme of support to enable them to make the transition to qualifications such as the Creative iMedia which has a large overlap with the Nationals in ICT.
Find out more about Creative iMedia, and OCR’s GCSEs in Computing, ICT and in the sciences.
Practical and technical Level 1/2 qualifications for 14-16 year olds, designed to be taken alongside GCSEs.
Cambridge Nationals in:
Occupationally-specific Level 2 qualifications for post-16 students, enabling entry to employment at intermediate level:
Occupationally-specific Level 3 qualifications for 16-19 year olds, enabling entry to employment at a higher level and contributing to the TechBacc performance measure:
Level 3 VQs designed for 16-19 year olds who wish to continue their education by learning about a vocational area rather than a single occupation, and enabling entry to university.
Cambridge Technicals in: