Shake-up for Key Stage 4 performance tables
Secondary school performance tables will take on a different look following the government's decision to cut dramatically the number of vocational qualifications that are eligible for inclusion as well as changing their equivalence with academic GCSEs.
The DfE says that there are currently 3,175 vocational qualifications accredited and approved for study by 14 to 16 year olds that can count in the tables and that some are worth found, five or even six GCSEs. It intends to cut this number back to 125 approved qualifications, only 70 of which would count towards a school's performance measure of pupils gaining five A* to C-grade GCSEs. They will be treated as direct, one-to-one equivalents.
Schools will also be allowed to include iGCSEs, AS levels and music exams at grade six and above on the same basis. The new system will operate from the 2014 Key Stage 4 performance tables, which are due to be published in January 2015.
The changes are part of the DfE's implementation of the recommendations made by Professor Alison Wolf in her review of vocational education. She said she was delighted that the government was 'rebalancing its league tables in ways that will promote high quality vocational qualifications.'
She added, 'Vocational studies can form a stimulating and demanding part of the curriculum. But pretending that all vocational qualifications are equally valuable does not bring them respect. On the contrary, it devalues vocational education in people's eyes.'