WHILE many young people will have anxiously received their A Level results this week there are a whole host of students who have already celebrated the successful completion of their BTEC and vocational qualifications.

At Andover College more than 340 students have completed their BTEC Level 3 course this year with 47 per cent achieving Distinctions and Distinction*, which is the equivalent to A Levels grade A and A*. This represents a 12 per cent improvement on last year.

These exceptional results exceed the percentage of high grades achieved at A level in many sixth form colleges.

The results are evidence of the high standard of teaching at Andover that was endorsed by Ofsted earlier this year, which rated all lessons at the college as ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’.

Principal Tim Jackson said: “We are enormously proud of the high standard of results achieved by our BTEC students this year, who we know go on to achieve extremely well at university and in their chosen careers.

“We are determined at Andover to offer choice so whether you are interested in A levels or want to pursue advanced technical skills through the vocational route you are assured of exceptionally high standards.

“We are committed to being an outstanding college and these results prove that we are offering an outstanding experience.”

Most of the BTEC Level 3 students are heading to university, just like their A Level counterparts, but they don’t get the chance to celebrate in the same way as A Level students as they don’t have a specific results day.

When 18 year old Lee Roberts embarked on the Level 3 Health and Social Care course he had aspirations to become a social worker. A fulfilling and successful placement at Icknield School, working with children with severe learning difficulties, has seen Lee shift his career direction slightly. Having finished his course with a triple distinction (equivalent to 3 A grade A Levels), Lee started working at the school in June as a learning support assistant.

From September 2015 he plans to study part time at the University of East London on a Special Education teaching degree with a view to becoming a Special Educational Needs Primary Teacher.

Lee thoroughly enjoyed his time at college. He said: “The course was challenging and really made you think about the underlying reasons care workers do what they do.

“It taught me to critically analyse theories and gave me the opportunity to work out what I wanted to do when I leave.”

Vocational courses like BTECs offer advanced technical skills combining theory and practical learning valuable for specific careers – particularly in areas such as nursing, teaching, social work, sports coaching and creative design.