Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

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Qualifications and curriculum Authority (QCA)

  • non-departmental public body (UK)
  • sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES)

It is governed by a board, whose members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and managed on a day-to-day basis by an executive team.


From the website: We develop the national curriculum, which defines the knowledge, understanding and skills to which children and young people are entitled. We keep it under review, to evaluate its appropriateness and relevance to the changing needs of learners and society.

National qualifications framework

The UK National qualifications framework enables us to accredit qualifications at appropriate levels to meet the needs of employers and learners. We fund occupational standards, support learning at work and regularly review the suitability and availability of qualifications, to ensure that the needs of learners, employers and the economy are met.

QCA is committed to equality of opportunity and works to ensure that the national curriculum, examinations and tests are accessible to people with different abilities.

QCA collaborates with other regulators: the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment in Northern Ireland (CCEA). We oversee the work of the awarding bodies, to ensure that their administration, marking and awarding procedures run smoothly.

QCA Functional skills standards: mathematics

For mathematics to be useful, learners must have the skills and confidence to apply, combine and adapt their mathematical knowledge to new situations in their life and work. They need the capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world and use mathematics in ways that enable them to function as effective citizens and benefit them in life and work.


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