Education Secretary Damian Hinds has today (18 June) confirmed that new T Level qualifications will become a reality from September 2020, as a second wave of further education providers are announced to deliver courses from 2021 – bringing the total to over 100.
The move signals a major step forward in Mr. Hinds’ 10-year ambition to overhaul technical education, and is further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to give more young people access to high-quality training opportunities so they can secure rewarding careers.
T Levels will be high-quality technical alternatives to A Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement – of at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days – where students will build the knowledge and skills they need in a workplace environment.
As the first T Level providers start gearing up to roll-out the courses from September 2020, the Government has also announced a further £3.75 million for 2019/20 to cover costs such as producing high-quality materials to help them recruit young people, and published the details of how the new courses will be funded.
Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, said:
“Everyone agrees that a radical shake-up of technical and vocational education in this country is long overdue. T Levels are our chance to do that – offering young people high-quality alternatives to our world-class A Levels from September 2020.
“The second wave of post-16 providers we have announced today demonstrates our commitment to making this happen. They will play an important role in ensuring more young people across the country can access these courses and help develop the skilled workforce the country needs for the future.
“I’m also pleased to confirm today the details of how we will fund providers to deliver T Levels, and that we are making an additional £3.75 million available to the first T Level providers to support them to develop and offer high-quality courses for every student from 2020.”
The first three T Levels for Digital, Education and Construction will be taught from September 2020. A further seven will to be taught from 2021, including three in Health and Science, with a further 15 coming on stream from 2022 onwards in sectors such as legal, financial and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, and creative & design.
The additional further education providers announced today – bringing the total number of providers to more than 100 – will offer up to ten T Level courses from 2021 as part of the Government’s major upgrade to technical and vocational education.
John Laramy, Principal and Chief Executive of Exeter College, said:
“Exeter College is delighted to have been selected to support the transformation of technical education in England, as an early adopter.
“Being a 2020 provider, and now, based on this announcement a 2021 provider, is great news for our students, employers and staff. T Levels align with our vision to be an exceptional college and drive a line of sight to industry, which we see as key for our technical provision.
“A world-class technical education system is a crucial ingredient in improving productivity and helping UK plc to compete on the global stage.
“Colleges, like Exeter College, sit at the heart of their communities, and therefore today’s news is great for the ambition of our learners, our city, and our region.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said:
“Colleges are the natural home of T Levels, given their unique relationship with employers, communities and learners.
"There is lots to be positive about in today’s announcement – including the significant increase in the number of colleges being selected to deliver some of the first T Levels, as well as the principle of co-design to deliver what employers and students need.
"The announcements on extra funding for T Level students from the age of 18, as well as additional funding to help everybody to achieve the minimum English and maths requirements are to be welcomed.
"However, it would be perverse to separately fund English and maths and rescind the 17.5% reduction in funding for 18 year olds only for T Level students. This needs to happen for everybody, regardless of their route and we will be pushing hard for this in the upcoming spending review.”
T Levels will be backed by an additional half a billion pounds of investment every year when the new qualifications are fully rolled out.
The Government has also published the response to its T Level funding consultation today which confirms how it intends to distribute the increased funding, including:
- Confirmation that additional funding will be provided to support T Level students who have not yet met the minimum English and maths requirement (GCSE or equivalent) so they can continue to gain these vital skills;
- Providing additional funding to support disadvantaged young people including while on an industry placement;
- Extra funding for T Level students who are aged 18 to ensure that they have access to the additional hours that are needed for larger T Level courses.
Part of the significant funding being made available by the Government to deliver T Levels is a £20 million investment to help prepare the further education sector for the introduction of the new courses.
This includes the £8 million T Level Professional Development offer which is already helping teachers and staff prepare for the roll-out of the new qualifications and the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme which aims to attract industry experts to work in the sector.
To support the development and delivery of T Level industry placements, the Government recently announced a new package of support for employers. This builds on the £60 million already invested to help make sure every student can access a high-quality placement from September 2020. So that young people have access to the latest, high quality equipment and state-of the art facilities during their studies, £38 million is also being made available to support the first T Level providers to be ready to teach T Levels from September 2020.
The pioneering new courses are being co-created with leading employers so they provide young people with the skills industry need and will help set more young people on a clear path to a good job.
Earlier this month, the official T Level branding was unveiled so that stakeholders and providers can start to recruit the first T Level students from September next year.