Letter: GNVQs demand high standards

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am writing on behalf of the General National Vocational Qualification awarding bodies. No student thinking of taking the new GNVQs - or vocational A- level - should be put off by your report ('Two-thirds of students fail to complete GNVQs', 25 August) which confuses students who dropped out, students who completed the course with some credits, and those who gained the full qualification.

Although some students did drop out after initially registering, doubtless finding the course too tough or seeking jobs, of those who stayed the course sufficiently to gain any units, about two-thirds gained the full award, of whom the majority applied to university with an 85 per cent success rate. The remaining third have not failed to complete the course - they have simply failed to pass all the assessments and external tests in as many as 15 units - but they can continue and, in fact, there will be another round of tests next month.

The GNVQ is a new development of enormous potential benefit to individuals and to the country in building a high-skill economy. It demands high standards from its students and deserves no less from the Independent in covering its progress.

Yours faithfully,

TINA TOWNSEND

Chief Executive

Business and Technology

Education Council

London, WC1

25 August

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