Schools Minister Lord Agnew has today written to the headteachers of all maintained secondary schools and academies in England urging them to comply with the ‘Baker Clause’.

The Minister has outlined that we expect all schools to open their doors to FE colleges, apprenticeship providers and UTCs so that students can build up a full picture of the options available to them.

This comes ahead of the introduction of T Levels this September, representing a high-quality technical alternatives to A levels.

School Systems Minister Lord Agnew said:

“Our reforms to technical education will provide clearer, high quality choices meaning the training and qualifications available provide a world class alternative to traditional academic routes.

“T Levels are launching in September this year, offering high-quality technical alternatives to A levels. It is more important than ever that headteachers give their pupils the chance to talk with providers so they are able to work out whether a technical education might be right for them.

“We have a responsibility to make sure that young people are able to make informed choices based on their aptitudes and ambitions. This will give them the chance to realise their full potential.”

DfE Letterhead

Lord Agnew Kt DL
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System
Sanctuary Buildings   Great Smith Street   Westminster   London   SW1P 3BT

Dear Colleague,


Our reforms to technical education are giving young people access to high-quality training and qualifications that match traditional academic routes. You have a crucial role to play in ensuring young people can hear directly from providers of technical education to build up a full picture of the options available to them.

As headteacher, you are under a statutory duty to publish a policy statement setting out details of the opportunities for providers of technical education and apprenticeships to visit your school/s to talk to all year 8-13 pupils, and to make sure the statement is followed. I am grateful that many schools are taking steps to comply with this legislation, commonly known as the ‘Baker Clause’. However, too many young people are still not given the chance to learn of different environments open to them and find out if technical education is right for them.

I urge you to take action this term to open your doors to University Technical Colleges, FE colleges, apprenticeship providers and new Institutes of Technology. Now is the crucial moment when so many young people are thinking about their options for September. I recognise it can be challenging, particularly when schools have their own post-16 offer. But we all have a responsibility to support young people to make choices based on their skills, interests and aspirations.

There are a number of ways that you can fulfil your statutory requirements and give pupils more exposure to apprenticeships and other technical options. You can draw on best practice from other schools and make use of support available through a number of organisations:

  • In some areas, schools and technical education providers are working together to organise events that introduce all pupils to post-14 and post-16 options in one place, or to create one presentation that sets out all local technical education provision and can be used by any provider on a school visit.
  • The Careers & Enterprise Company’s free Compass tool helps you track progress towards giving young people exposure to further education and independent training providers and other components of your careers programme, in line with the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance.
  • The National Careers Service provides free impartial careers advice and guidance to anyone over the age of 13, including on further education choices. This is available through their website and national helpline.
  • WorldSkills UK and The Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges Programme (ASK) offer informative and inspiring opportunities to develop and transform how your pupils think about technical options.

I ask every school to work with us and with other providers so that we can support young people to make informed choices about the next step in their education or training


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