Commenting on Ofqual’s proposed approach to vocational and technical qualifications for summer 2020, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The NEU welcomes Ofqual’s announcement today on the regulatory arrangements for awarding this summer’s Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs). The VTQ landscape is complex and diverse, with 160 Awarding Organisations (AOs) involved, and with many different student groups. We agree with the proposed approach which recognises the need for both flexibility and pragmatism in these extraordinary times.

“It is right that deliverability and fairness underpin this temporary regulatory framework whilst acknowledging the need for qualification standards to be maintained. And it is right that all learners will be in scope and that qualification assessment approaches will take into account the needs of students with protected characteristics.

“We welcome that Ofqual has set out a similar approach to the one for GCSEs and A levels, which is that in many cases teacher judgement will be used to calculate either part of or the whole of the student grade, depending on the qualification type.

“Students will hopefully be reassured by the proposals for an appeals process and an opportunity to sit exams if they wish, as soon as is reasonably possible once schools and colleges re-open.

“It is important now that the guidance on what evidence teachers can use and how they come to these judgements is clear and consistent. The NEU will be working with Ofqual and the AOs to help make that happen.”