Exams watchdog revamps comms to alter its profile

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority - the exams watchdog - has embarked on a PR overhaul as it bids to create a more aggressive public profile and distance itself from last year's A-Levels debacle.

The 90-strong 'comms and knowledge management' division has been disbanded and replaced by an external relations division, which is currently headed on an interim basis by Tim Whitaker - one of a number of senior staff eligible to re-apply for newly created posts.

Whitaker said 15 to 20 more staff would handle PR, with the QCA's communications budget doubling from 1 April.

The other staff - who handle issues such as research and statistics - are being allocated to 'corporate services' and 'QCA consulting' teams.

Whitaker said the QCA wanted a 'more upfront positioning': 'We are known as the body involved in the A-Level problems. But most of our work is to do with vocational qualifications - we want to provide assurance to employers that these qualifications match Britain's future skills requirements.'

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