Government U-turn over the rules for two major vocational qualifications.

More than 1,000 16 to 18-year-olds who failed courses last year to be told they passed, after a government U-turn

Under the original rules for reformed level three applied general and tech level qualifications, introduced for teaching from 2016, learners had to pass all their externally-assessed exams to achieve their qualifications.

But that requirement has now been scrapped, leading Ofqual to write to awarding organisations last month to ask them to create a “safety net” for learners that had narrowly failed one or more of their exams.

This rule change is likely to affect both providers and learners:

Providers’ achievement rates would have been affected by learners that failed under the previous rules, but the biggest impact is likely to be on learners that have “lost out” on a year of education or training, having previously believed they’d failed.

Some would have dropped out of their courses after the first year, or are now needlessly repeating a year. Others would have been unable to progress onto other forms of training, including apprenticeships, he said.

There is an in-depth report in to this on the FE Week website.