The power of choice in further education

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Choose your path

Choice is in vogue. In any area of life, there are many options you can take, each with their own pros and cons — and the variety only seems to be growing.

Take, for example, voice assistants. One of the first (and most popular) was Alexa, then Google released their own versions of the home hub, and Apple released the HomePod, too. If you’re on the market for a new voice-assisted technology to help you do things around your home (play music, change lights, etc.), you’ve got plenty of choices. That’s not to mention the other tech like the Nest and other more specialised devices.

The same choice is available for learners aged 16+. Many were critical of the A Level reform of 2015, with AS Levels decoupled, no longer contributing to final A Level grades.

A number of important A Level subjects were also scrapped, including Applied Business, Engineering, Health and Social Care, and Science.

But this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for shorter qualifications that contribute towards UCAS points, nor subjects that have been removed from the A Level curriculum. There are other options outside of A Levels.

Flexible learning for students who want a choice

BTEC qualifications can be taught to learners aged 16+, and allow you to grow the qualification or drop it as your learners go, all the while counting towards the final grade (and UCAS points for university applications).

If your students are interested in taking up an Engineering course, for example, they could take up a BTEC National Certificate in Engineering (worth up to 28 UCAS points) in their first year of FE study. If your students are keen to extend that qualification, they can then grow it to an Extended Certificate size (worth up to 56 UCAS points).

Assessment throughout the year

BTEC qualifications are also assessed unit by unit, so your students are tested on their understanding and application of skills throughout the year, which is a preferred choice for some students who struggle in end-of-year exams, on which their entire grade rests.

Wherever you look, whether it’s for a new smartphone, some peppers for tonight’s chilli, or a brand new voice assistant for your home, you have a choice to make. Your students’ education shouldn’t be any different.

This blog was written by Steve Curtis, a Pearson employee. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in these blogs belong solely to their authors, and are not necessarily those of Pearson.

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