News

  • BTEC results 2014

    Statistics show large increases in students studying vocational qualifications in subjects most critical for UK economy.

    Today, Pearson publishes entry and achievement data for students completing level 2 (First) and level 3 (National) BTEC qualifications between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014.

    The statistics show that students are choosing to study subjects identified as the most important for economic growth, revealing a 17% rise in level 3 (sixth form) students taking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) focused BTECs, with an increase of students at level 3 of 27% taking Applied Science, 12% taking ICT and 17% taking Engineering. A recent report by the CBI outlined how a healthy supply of STEM-skilled employees at all levels is required for a flourishing UK economy and rising living standards[1].

    Bucking the trend that sees sciences as traditionally 'male' subjects, there was a big increase of 27% in girls taking this subject. As a result, more girls (54%) than boys (46%) gained Applied Science level 3 BTECs this year.

    ICT and Engineering remain male-dominated subjects. 83% of students taking ICT at level 3 are male and so are 95% of those taking Engineering at level 3. Nevertheless, the percentage of female students taking these subjects has increased since last year by 11% for ICT and 53% for Engineering.

    The girls that do take these subjects also out-perform their male peers:

    • 25% of girls who took an Applied Science level 3 BTEC got the highest grade of a D*, compared to 14% of boys
    • 25% of girls who took an Engineering level 3 BTEC got the highest grade of a D*, compared to 14% of boys 
    • 36% of girls who took an ICT Level 3 BTEC got the highest grade of a D*, compared to 21% of boys.
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  • Pearson recognised by Ofqual as provider of new GCSEs from 2015

    Ofqual has accepted Pearson's application to be recognised to offer the new GCSE 9 to 1 qualifications. Confirmation was received on 13 May 2014.

    New qualifications in English language, English literature and mathematics will be rolled out from September 2015, subject to accreditation, with the first awards being made in the summer of 2017. Further subjects will follow a year later. The reformed qualifications will have a numbered grading system, from 9 to 1 (with 9 being the highest grade available).

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  • Business and Higher Education appeal for long-term view of education to support economic growth

    A new report published today urges the government to radically overhaul the way the current school curriculum is developed to ensure it better meets the needs of the future economy.

    The report, 'Making Education Work,' follows a six-month review of England’s education system by an independent advisory group consisting of prominent business leaders and chaired by leading academic Professor Sir Roy Anderson.

    The report's key recommendations are:

    • A cross-party body should ensure the school curriculum is aligned to the future economy.
    • A levels should be slowly replaced with a Baccalaureate system.
    • The importance of interpersonal skills should be recognised and evidenced.

    With the content of the school curriculum continuing to change with each new administration, the report recommends the establishment of a new independent body, made up of teachers, employers, higher education and importantly, political parties. The new group would aim to establish a long-term political consensus on the school curriculum, with ultimate responsibility for delivering and assessing that curriculum continuing to be vested in the government.

    The Making Education Work report also recommends:

    • The A level system should slowly change to a baccalaureate-type system which supports a broader curriculum, to keep career options open and enable flexibility in later life.
    • England should formally adopt a formal framework for key competences, to include important attributes like team working, which are predicted to become increasingly important in the job market.
    • The testing of higher level reasoning skills, rather than just knowledge of theory or facts, should carry greater weight in qualifications, as more roles in the future will require these skills.
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Press centre contact details for journalists

For enquiries regarding GCSEs, A levels and Key Stage 2 tests please contact:

Kasia Reardon
Media and Communities Manager, UK

T: +44 (0) 20 7010 2336
M: +44 (0) 7702 512312
E: kasia.reardon@pearson.com

For enquiries regarding vocational qualifications and Pearson College please contact:

Tom Philpott
Government Relations Manager, UK and Europe

T: +44 (0) 20 7010 2313
M: +44 (0) 7715 890442
E: tom.philpott@pearson.com

Additional media contact:

Martin O'Donovan
VP Media and Government Relations, UK and Europe

M: +44 (0) 7968 438 219
E: martin.odonovan@pearson.com

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