Linking London | News | 23 May 2017: Event report - BTEC Practitioner Group Meeting

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BTEC Practitioner Group Meeting

The meeting featured a presentation from David MacKay, Pearson, who provided an update on the Pearson BTEC qualification and a review of the year for BTECs. Andrew Jones, Linking London, then presented on the current apprenticeships landscape and live vacancies for Greater London. Following this, Andrew provided delegates with an overview of the recent HEPI paper on BTECs and Applied General qualifications as a route to HE. Andrew then presented the group with comparative research on BTEC entry requirements for 2016/17 and 2017/18. The session ended with a Linking London update on resources.

The third and last BTEC Practitioner Group Meeting of this academic year was held on the 23rd May and was well represented, with 20 FE and HE partners present. After a warm welcome from Andrew Jones, Deputy Director of Linking London, delegates received an update on the current BTEC developments from David MacKay, Head of Awarding Body Stakeholder Engagement for Pearson UK. David shared the current timeline for BTECs available for first teaching and those still under development. The group were informed about the T-Level and Applied General qualifications and David provided an overview for BTECs for this academic year. The work placement element of the T-Levels and the DfE’s specification for the new BTECs was also discussed with the group.

Delegates then heard from Andrew Jones, Deputy Director at Linking London, who provided an update on his research into the entry requirements of a sample of London-based HEIs for 2017/18 entry. Andrew compared figures to the entry requirements for 2016/17.

After a short break, a roundtable partner update followed where partners shared information on entry requirements, outreach offers, and college partners discussed whether their institutions are offering the new or old BTEC specification for the next academic year. Further topics raised included concerns about the new GCSE grading and its effect on student progression, information, advice and guidance sessions for BTEC learners and the increasing number of students receiving unconditional offers during exams.

Following this, Andrew Jones presented a summary of key findings from the HEPI paper published in February 2017. This presentation featured discussion on the growth of Sports Science and STEM BTECs, the dramatic increase of students applying to university with blended qualifications and the percentage of BTEC students progressing onto HE courses. The presentation concluded by looking at HEPI’s final remarks on the success of BTECs ‘in opening the door to higher education to many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds’.

Andrew provided a short update on the progress of the web resource for BTEC learners co-developed by Linking London and Pearson. If partners would like to contribute their thoughts on this resource, please get in contact with Andrew Jones.

The meeting closed with Andrew updating the group on forthcoming Linking London publications. The delegates also had the opportunity to discuss what topics to cover in the next BTEC Practitioner Group Meeting.

The first BTEC meeting of the next academic year will take place in October, dates TBC.

Presentations and meeting note

To view the presentations and meeting note from the day please click here. This link will take you to the partners' area of the website. You must be a Linking London member to access this section of the website. If you do not know your login name and password, then please email

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