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Government shake vocational qualifications

Just 70 vocational qualifications will count towards a school's GCSE performance in league tables in future, a cut from more than 3,000 under the current system.

Professor Alison Wolf

Just 70 vocational qualifications will count towards a school's GCSE performance in league tables in future, a cut from more than 3,000 under the current system.

The move is part of an attempt by the Government to stop schools encouraging youngsters to take qualifications that boost their league table position but do not help a pupil's prospects.

Ministers today confirmed that just 125 vocational qualifications will be included from 2014. Of these, only 70 will count towards the main performance tables. Plans to slash the numbers of “equivalent” qualifications were first announced by ministers last year following Professor Alison Wolf's review of vocational education.

Under the current system, 3,175 vocational or “equivalent” courses count in the league tables, and some of these are multiple GCSEs. The new system will see every qualification count equally in the tables.

Qualifications that will still count include many of the diplomas introduced by the last government and a number of BTECs and OCR Nationals covering areas such as performing arts, sport, health and social care, media, music and engineering.
Some of the courses which will count in the tables are still subject to further review because they are either too new, or still have to demonstrate they have all the characteristics needed to be included, the Department for Education said.

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