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DfE consultation on Post-16 qualifications

Artwork by Kez Dearmer, Chelsea College of Art. Copyright Alys Tomlinson.
Written by
UAL Awarding Body
Published date
03 April 2019

We are pleased to confirm that funding for a full suite of UAL Awarding Body Level 3 qualifications, across all our subjects, is now secured until at least 2023. We welcome the stability this brings for colleges while the Department for Education conducts its Review of post-16 qualifications launched this March.

The final findings of this multi-stage consultation process are due in Spring 2020, when we expect further guidance from DfE on the types of qualifications and assessment models it will encourage beyond 2023. UAL Awarding Body will be working with partners from across the education and creative sectors to develop a full response to the consultation.

UAL Awarding Body is engaging in this process, including via membership of the T level development panel for Creative & Design, and helping to shape decisions with DfE and Ofqual. We look forward to extending our track-record for maintaining standards and innovating as part of a robust regulated system.

As a precursor to this work, the DfE has announced it will remove funding for duplicate qualifications from August 2020. This is where a given awarding organisation has several versions of qualifications that are deemed similar, usually one assessed via external moderation and one assessed via external assessment.

The only UAL Awarding Body qualifications currently in scope for this exercise are our Level 3 Diplomas and Extended Diplomas in Art and Design, where we offer both Applied General (externally assessed) and non-Applied General (externally moderated) versions. We are currently consulting with the DfE on which of the two versions would best qualify for continued funding.

We will seek the outcome that is most beneficial to our students and least disruptive to our centres, and best supports transformative creative education. We will support all centres and students in transitioning to the Level 3 Art and Design qualification that continues to be funded in 2020-2021, once this has been confirmed by the DfE. For now we advise centres to continue with their current qualifications as usual so they can make informed choices for 2020/21 after the DfE publish decisions later this year.

All our other qualifications will retain funding until at least 2023 as they have no duplicate qualification in place (i.e. there is no new version with external assessment). All of our qualifications are on the RQF as the QCF has now been phased out.

We expect that the initial DfE review will result in a modestly rationalised number of Level 3 qualifications for providers to choose from across all Awarding Organisations, with UAL Awarding Body continuing to offer a fully funded suite of Level 3 qualifications in creative subjects.

We will be releasing communications and updates on these issues as and when any new or relevant information becomes available. If centres would like to discuss these development in more detail please contact us at

Please note that our centres in Wales and Scotland are wholly unaffected by any of these developments.