Withdrawal of government funding for three art and design level qualifications

The Government has announced that funding will be withdrawn for what they describe as ‘duplicate’ qualifications. Three art and design qualifications have been affected – a further 160 qualification will have their funding withdrawn.

This applies to following art and design awards:

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design
UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design

Funding for these qualifications is secure for 2019 starts but will cease from August 2020.

When the announcement was made, 22 July, Damian Hinds MP was Secretary of State for Education. He said that the Government will only continue to fund alternative qualifications at level 3 if they are “high quality, are necessary, have a clear purpose, and lead to good outcomes”.

Responding to the news, Sophie Leach, Deputy General Secretary, NSEAD said:

'There is no data or published evidence to suggest that year-on-year these specific art and design awards have not provided outstanding opportunities for students. On behalf of our members who offer these awards and learners who are studying or have studied these awards, we ask the government what evidence have they used to suggest these specific art and design qualification are not high quality, are not necessary, do not have a clear purpose, and do lead to good outcomes.

Such messaging devalues the hard work and attainment of so many young people who have achieved these rigorous awards. With little notice, the impact on post-16 provision will be extremely detrimental, reducing in turn choice and opportunities for young people. We very much hope that all awarding organisation will be able to arrange for a transition to their key awards in good time.'

UAL said:

'This defunding is part of a government initiative to reduce the number of publicly funded qualifications available to centres and learners.

'We were not given sufficient notice by DfE of this decision to communicate with our centres prior to the announcement.

‘86.96% of applicants [for these awards] take up a place at a HE institution – often at prestigious specialist providers.’

25 Jul 2019