NCFE – Written evidence (EDU0104) 


NCFE is an educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning. We combine over 170 years of education experience with deep insight, working with a network of expert collaborators to galvanise the technical and vocational education sector around the greatest learning needs and to shape smarter solutions.


We work with over 1,500 schools in the UK every year to support them with delivering high quality qualifications to young people.

We have 11 V Cert technical awards approved for performance tables, making up 23% of all technical awards available to learners at KS4. In 2022/23, we supported almost 900 schools with delivering V Cert technical awards to over 32,000 KS4 pupils.


We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Lords Education for 11–16 Year Olds Committee inquiry into education for 11- to 16-year-olds with reference to the skills necessary for the digital and green economy.



What are the barriers to more students taking Technical Awards at 14-16 and how can these be overcome?


A huge barrier to students taking technical awards at key stage 4 (KS4) is the schools’ appetite to run these qualifications – largely due to the KS4 curriculum being built around Progress 8:


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Key features of Technical Awards below, as stipulated by the DfE:


Historically, non-exam assessments were externally quality assured rather than moderated, and the exam could be taken before the non-exam assessment, and resat (best attempt counts).


Note – technical awards were recently reformed to meet these rules, with reformed qualifications launched in September 2022 for first awarding summer 2024.


What changes would we like to see?











12 October 2023