Courses with low student numbers may lose funding

Qualifications that are not being taken by anyone or are being studied by less than 100 students each year may lose government funding, under DfE plans.

The proposals will make it easier for students to choose the qualifications that are in demand and will lead to good jobs.

The current system offers around 12,000 qualifications to young people at Level 3 and below – including A Level and GCSEs – often with multiple qualifications in the same subject area.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of The Association of Colleges said: "Making the qualification landscape easier to navigate for students and employers is crucial for the success of technical education. This will help that, but at the same time I am pleased at the approach being taken which should protect highly-valued but low enrolment qualifications which provide crucial skills, often in smaller sectors of the economy. We also welcome the opportunity for colleges to feed into the process alongside the awarding bodies they work with."

Qualifications including ProQual Level 1 Certificate in Business Administration, OCNLR Level 2 Award in Interior Design and Focus Awards Level 3 Certificate In Personal Training are being considered. These qualifications have no one taking them and other options exist that are more in demand.

The government is seeking views from the education sector on whether any of the 5,000 qualifications on the list should continue to attract public funding from August 2021.

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