I attended an Awarding Body Forum today. These are held quarterly, in locations across the UK. Today's meeting was held in the Pearson offices in London (Pearson is the parent company of EdExcel).
These meetings are convened by the Sector Skills Council (E-Skills) and their main purpose is to update awarding bodies on relevant developments. They also provide awarding bodies with an opportunity to raise issues with the SSC.
While much of the agenda is mainly of operational interest to awarding bodies, such as changes to funding rules, there are always some items of general interest. At today's meeting we discussed the Royal Society's study into falling uptake of Computing in schools. Awarding bodies have been invited to make submission to the study.
There was also discussion about Modern Apprenticeships (MAs). Modern Apprenticeships are "owned" by the Sector Skills Council (not awarding bodies) but they include an educational element, which normally provides apprentices with nationally recognised qualifications, such as SVQs. E-Skills has been working on updated MAs for IT User and IT Practitioner/Professional apprentices. The IT User MAs should be available soon, and the IT Practitioner/Professional ones early next year.