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Joint statement from @AoC_info, @AELPUK, @HOLEXPolicy, @AwardingBodies, @JCQcic, and @Ofqual on #VTQs 

Ofqual has jointly released a statement with several organisations involved in assessments, committing to work together and streamline communications:

This summer has been extraordinary for everyone involved in awarding vocational and technical qualifications. It has been an anxious time for learners and has involved a huge amount of hard work for centres and awarding organisations (AOs).

Everyone in the sector has worked collaboratively to issue valid and reliable VTQ results to learners in order for them to progress onto the next stage of their education or into work. It is a significant achievement that millions of certificates were issued, for thousands of different qualifications.

We recognise and acknowledge, however, that this achievement has been a great challenge for all concerned, and will continue to be so. Colleagues right across the sector, both in centres and awarding organisations, had to make enormous efforts to secure results for learners, rapidly developing and implementing new systems and processes. Particular credit is due to our colleagues working in centres for their hard work and professionalism.

It is important to learn the lessons from the summer, in particular how the sector can work together even more effectively to improve communications and the exchange of information between centres and AOs so that things run more smoothly in 2020/21.

You may have seen that Ofqual has been consulting on the regulatory framework for 2020/21, which is, like this summer’s framework, flexible to ensure that AOs can put in place arrangements and adaptations that best suit their qualifications. But we are conscious of the need to ensure as much consistency as possible, and we recognise that collaboration will be key.

AoC, AELP, HOLEX, FAB, JCQ, Ofqual, have therefore committed to work together, convening a working group to agree how centre-facing communications can be streamlined over the current academic year.

As a first step, we have jointly agreed that, by 23 October, awarding organisations will have started to communicate to centres their planned approach to any adaptations to their qualifications for 2020/21, to assist in mitigating disruption to teaching, learning and assessments so that, as far as possible, learners have the opportunity to receive fair results in 2020 to 2021 and are not disadvantaged by the longer-term impacts of the pandemic. We will be strongly encouraging awarding organisations to keep their centres fully informed as plans develop, and we will use this group to co-ordinate milestones and communications, and to address issues arising through the year.

A number of subject and sector groups (for example, covering Functional Skills Qualifications, and Hair and Beauty Qualifications) have work well underway to support consistent approaches to adaptations of qualifications in 2020/21.

We are pleased to confirm that CCEA Regulation and Qualifications Wales will also be part of the working group going forward, and we commit to updating you on a regular basis as decisions are made and clarity achieved.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

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FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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