OCR Review of Asset Languages
Tuesday 18 September 2012
I am getting in touch to let you know more about the review of Asset Languages that we are currently undertaking.
Accreditation for the existing Asset Languages qualification range expires at the end of December 2013. We recognise that for many of you, Asset is a very useful tool for motivating language learners and are very grateful for the positive feedback on Asset that we receive.
Despite some claims in the press and on websites, no final decision has been taken about the future of the languages available under Asset. We are undertaking extensive research into all the options available to help us provide as broad a range of language qualifications as possible. We will confirm the results of our review by Christmas 2012.
Before we make a final decision on the range, we intend to consult with you, as key Asset and language stakeholders, and give you a chance to have your say. Details of how to get involved are given below.
Our initial analysis however does make it clear that the current situation is not sustainable. We will need either to cut the number of levels and languages available, or to make changes to assessment models.
Earlier this summer, we informed you that we could only make a firm commitment to the re-development of five languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. We have decided that Advanced Stage qualifications in these languages will not be available after 2013.
I thought it would be helpful to share some data with you to indicate the seriousness of the problem. Fewer than 120 candidates in total took Asset exams in four of the current languages on offer last year. Just one candidate took an Asset qualification in Irish this year. Our Turkish GCSE had 1416 entries last year while Asset had less than 7% of this figure. All the evidence suggests that changes in policy relating to accountability measures and funding signal that uptake will decline considerably from this already low base.
I hope you will understand that OCR is a not-for-profit organisation with a very broad portfolio of qualifications and we have to balance our commitments to keep costs as low as possible for everyone. Even if we decide to withdraw some languages, we will be interested in what we can do to find alternatives and support organisations through any transition arrangements.
Part of the research which OCR is undertaking is a broader project looking at language provision which started earlier this summer. If you are interested in taking part in this wider research, please let us have your details by emailing us at AssetLanguagesReview@ocr.org.uk.
To help inform our review, I would be extremely grateful to hear your views specifically on Asset. If you are currently delivering Asset languages or are part of the wider languages community, we have compiled a short survey for you to complete. The link is at the end of this page.
We will keep you informed of the progress of our review with a further update in early November. If you have any queries in the meantime, please email us at the address above or get in touch with our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or by email at email@example.com.
OCR Director of Partnerships
To take part in our short survey, click on this link