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Education: Qualifications

Volume 714: debated on Wednesday 4 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Joint Advisory Committee for Qualifications Approval does not include value for money in its criteria for recommending that qualifications be funded. [HL6065]

The Joint Advisory Committee for Qualifications Approval (JACQA) offers advice to the Secretary of State on whether accredited qualifications should be eligible for public funding in 14-19 learning. Its recommendations are made against the published criteria under Section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. These require, for example, that qualifications must be suitable for the age group and, at key stage 4, must fit with the national curriculum.

The first criterion is, however, that, to be considered eligible, a qualification must have been accredited by interim Ofqual. Once established in statutory form, assuming Royal Assent of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill, Ofqual will have an efficiency objective to ensure that regulated qualifications provide value for money. It would not be appropriate or necessary to ask JACQA to duplicate Ofqual's efficiency objective, but JACQA will need to consider whether according to the Section 96 criteria and in the context of the stated aims of the 14-19 qualifications strategy, public investment in a qualification represents good value for money.