Skip to main content
The latest blog articles from
AIM Qualification and Assessment Group

Removal of qualification funding by the Government


The devil is in the detail…..

And so it starts: at 5pm yesterday the first of many announcements from the Department for Education about removal of qualification funding arrived in my inbox.  The Telegraph newspaper headline “Crack down on low quality qualifications such as floristry and horse management as Government axes their funding” was clearly designed to support the argument that too much time and money is being wasted on ‘pointless’ qualifications.


But is this the case?

True, there are a LOT of vocational qualifications available, as proclaimed in various government white papers, starting with the Wolf report in 2011.  True, the current system could be confusing to the public and potentially to employers. However, I suspect most who work in the system know what’s going on and are able to choose qualifications that suit their learners.


And that’s the key

What works well for one learner may not for another: some qualifications comprise a few large units/modules/components and others many small bite sized ones; some are assessed through an exam at the end and others through practical work. 


I spoke with an adult education centre yesterday who offer one of our vocational qualifications in child care , who explained how they effectively get learners into employment as teaching assistants.  These learners had not done well in school and not got their GCSEs.  By pairing a practical vocational qualification that includes employability skills alongside English and Maths GCSEs these learners have been made employable.


Surely someone has to manage the horses

The letter from the DfE actually states that they are removing funding from 163 qualifications where a newer version already exists.  The newer version covers the same subject content but meets newer DfE criteria, mainly around how the qualifications are assessed. 


So, the Telegraph headline should read: “Removal of funding from qualifications in floristry and horse management because a newer version of the same qualification will still be funded”.  Currently, at least, horse management qualifications are here to stay. 


By Gareth Metcalf, Director of Assessment and Qualifications, AIM

< back