Supporting BTEC Learners following Department for Education (DfE) announcement

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Today, the Department for Education announced further adaptations to General Qualifications. As you will know, we have been working closely with DfE, JCQ, Ofqual and other regulators to ensure that learners studying for their BTEC qualifications are subject to the same or equivalent mitigations as their fellow students studying towards GCSE, AS and A Levels. Our priority is always to ensure fairness and parity for our BTEC learners.

DfE announced measures  How this will be applied to BTEC 
Generosity in awarding outcomes for learners, in line with 2020 standards  This will apply to BTEC. We will look to adopt similar principles to those of General Qualifications where the purposes of the qualifications are the same. 
Students and teachers will be given advance notice of some of the topic areas that will be covered in the exams.  This will not be applied to BTEC examinations. BTEC will instead be allowing a reduction in the assessment of optional units. Teachers have been encouraged to deliver mandatory content first, so that this content can be assessed. As the external assessment for BTEC usually forms a smaller proportion of the qualification, a reduction to the number of internal assessments a learner completes is a more appropriate adaptation for BTEC qualifications. 
In some subjects, exam aids, such as formula sheets, will be provided on the day of exams, relieving students of the burden of memorising all the information they would normally. 

Formulas will continue to be provided for assessments where these are required. 

Additionally, the assessment windows for some task-based assessments have already been extended to allow learners more time to complete the assessment. Details of the adaptations to BTEC external assessments can be found here

There will be a provision of ‘contingency papers’ where learners have not been able to undertake any assessment, with reason, in order to gain a qualification  BTEC is built on modular assessment with the majority of content centre-assessed and quality assured by Pearson. As such, there is no need to provide ‘contingency papers’ for the external assessments.  Students will always have been able to undertake some form of assessment which will allow us to award a grade in the exceptional circumstance that they are unable to sit any of their examinations (see next measure).  As for many qualifications there will be two opportunities available for the external assessments. If an external assessment is missed with reason, learners should be encouraged to take the assessment at the next available opportunity and only where this isn’t possible, Special Considerations can be used. This is in line with the existing process, to ensure learners can gain their qualification.
Students who miss an exam due to self-isolation or sickness, but who have completed a proportion of their assessments for a qualification will be awarded a grade using the assessments they did complete.  This will apply to BTEC as we have described above. More guidance will follow. 
Students who may be shielding and unable to take their exam in a school or other setting will be supported to sit their exams, for example, at home.  Due to the modular nature of BTECs, external assessments are usually offered more than once per year. BTEC examinations should be attempted in one of the available sessions in 2021. If this is not possible, with good reason, Special Consideration can be requested.  

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