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Edexcel, a Pearson company, is the UK's largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning in the UK and internationally.
Edexcel offer the widest range of learning programmes from academic qualifications - such as GCEs (A levels) and GCSEs - to vocational and business learning and adult literacy and numeracy qualifications. The Edexcel general qualifications include GCSEs, AS and A Levels, IGCSEs and O Levels. Their vocational qualifications include NVQ and BTEC from entry level to Higher National Diplomas.
Edexcel was formed in 1996 by the merger of the Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC), the country’s leading provider of vocational qualifications, and the University of London Examinations & Assessment Council (ULEAC), one of the major exam boards for GCSEs and A levels.
The name ‘Edexcel’ is derived from ‘educational excellence’. The Edexcel Foundation, which ran the organisation, was a charity, managed by board of trustees. The business has grown considerably and in 1998 they acquired the Institute of Health Care & Development (IHCD), in order to grow business in the healthcare industry.
BTECs are work-related qualifications, suitable for a wide range of students, designed to accommodate the needs of employers as well as allowing progression to university. They provide a more practical, real-world approach to learning alongside a theoretical background and can be taken as well as, or instead of, GCSEs and A levels in schools and colleges.
BTECs are recognised by schools, colleges, universities, employers and professional bodies in the UK and in over 100 countries worldwide. Having been around for 25 years, their reputation is second to none, and they continue to grow and develop. In 2007, more than a million students enrolled on a BTEC course in the UK alone.
BTECs are delivered through schools, colleges, independent training providers such as LCS Academy Ltd and employers. They are popular qualifications amongst young people and adult students alike. BTECs are flexible, enabling students to study them full-time or part-time, as part of an Apprenticeship programme or alongside work commitments and other qualifications.