Chris Rees

EPQ over two years, QAR implications


We are looking at changing the way we deliver EPQ, but I believe it will cause issues with the ILR and QAR so I was wondering if anyone had a similar problem and potential solution!

The proposal from our curriculum team is that for next year they want to enrol first years onto it from September, teach them until July, but then the next available time to certify the work with the board is January of their second year. My understanding would be that this would not work with the ILR, as R14 has long since closed, and any students left as completed awaiting result would subsequently change to have failed in the QAR. 

I think they would have to continue the teaching into year 2 for at least 42 days in order for us to be able continue the enrolment into the second year, so that there is then something we can record the grade against when it comes in later in the year. To specifically quote from the rates and formulas guidance: For programmes that span more than one funding year, a student must requalify as a start at the beginning of each funding year.[6]

If anyone has dealt with something similar for EPQ or another course in a similar situation, I would be interested to hear how you resolved issues like this.





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Steve Hewitt

From a QAR point of view, you'd get away with them finishing 2 August, funding rules don't apply to that calculation.

You could even (wouldn't recommend it) leave them as 2&8 in the first year then drag the records into the second year to update the outcome (so the Reporting Year would be the latest thing to calculate Hybrid End), but they would be Not Achieved in the first year...


Chris Rees

Thanks Steve,

Wouldn't finishing them on the 2nd August mean that the ILR is then expecting 42 days attendance for the following year though?

And yes I think you are right to not recommend the second option, having them not achieved for the first year is going to cause some problems.

I think most institutions teach them September to April, then submit the work for deadline in May. 

Steve Hewitt

Wouldn't finishing them on the 2nd August mean that the ILR is then expecting 42 days attendance for the following year though?

This depends on many many factors!!! ;)

Assuming these are Study Progs, but is this the middle of their programme (ie will they be on, how can I put this, real quals through til the following June) or the end (ie are they sitting their A Levels/whatever in June and then continuing EPQ through to August)?

If it's the middle, then it totally doesn't matter because they'll be on 42 days for their rest of their prog.

If it's the end, it's marginally more complex because it would look like you had an incredibly short programme in that funding year but, also, that wouldn't really matter? I mean it would look *really weird* but it's not against a rule and, as I say, the difference is QAR looks at qual start date but the funding looks at academic year, but, arguably, you wouldn't want/need funding for the last two days...

Chris Rees

Yes, that's a good point - this will be mid programme of their A Levels/BTECs etc, so the 42 days in the second year will start from whenever they first attend one of their other courses that year. 

However, I was under the impression that they would at least need to have some attendance on the EPQ in the second year for us to be able to include it in the ILR at all?
i.e. If we had it running with a start date of Sep Year 1 and an end date of Jan Year 2 (when the work is sent off) but they had no timetabled sessions in the year 2, would the ILR not just ignore it because there are no hours for the second year, and therefore revert to the first year with no result against it?

Steve Hewitt

Well, for the time being, we don't tell the ILR about hours at aim level*, only learner level, so it can't know there's no hours for a given aim in Y2!

HOWEVER, the thing with start date and planned end date is they're the dates for *learning* not for waiting around til the work is sent off, so, yes, you're right, you'd need some activity that counts as an hour in year 2 to set the planned end then.

*if the Maths hours requirement is brought in by the next government, we'll have to (and, of course, 15 years ago, we used to for everything)

Chris Rees

Sorry yes I should have said attendance for the second year rather than hours. 

Thanks for the help Steve, it has reinforced my thinking that really this needs to be done within an academic year.