Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, comments on the news that nine of AQA’s vocational qualifications* have not been approved by Department for Education.

She said: “It is outrageous that schools have just been told, in the first week of term, that a range of vocational qualifications they were expecting to teach have not been approved by the Government. This is a complete failure to plan.

“It means that schools have wasted months in preparing to teach, and the exam boards in preparing to supply, these new qualifications, only to have the rug pulled from beneath them. This will leave thousands of students who were expecting to take these qualifications disappointed, anxious and uncertain about their future studies. It is a complete fiasco. Ministers at the Department for Education should be hanging their heads in shame.”

*The nine courses are: child learning and development, fashion and textiles, food and catering, health and social care, IT, material technology, sport, Stem and visual communication.