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Detailed guide: T Levels: next steps for providers

Information for post-16 providers on the next steps towards delivery of T Levels.

T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. T Levels will combine classroom theory, practical learning and minimum of 315 hours’ industry placement to make sure students have real experience of the workplace. The 2-year T Levels courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content will meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work. They provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door to highly skilled employment, an apprenticeship or higher level study.

T Level action plan

The Department for Education published its third T Level Action Plan on 7 October 2019. The action plan gives an update on government’s progress in reforming technical education as set out in the Post-16 skills plan.

This action plan includes updates on:

  • progress towards the delivery of T Levels in 2020 and preparations for 2021 delivery
  • T Levels which will be available for delivery in 2022 and 2023
  • how providers will be able to apply to deliver T Levels in 2022
  • clarification on various T Level policy areas, including grading, results and certification and UCAS points for T Levels
  • wider qualification reform work

Read an introduction to T Levels for more detail about T Levels.

T Level Transition Programme

As stated in the T Level Action Plan we are developing the T Level Transition Programme for students who are not ready to start a T Level but have the potential to progress onto one following a tailored preparation programme.

We are taking a phased approach to implementation of the T Level Transition Programme alongside the introduction of T Levels in September 2020. We are beginning by working closely with a small number of providers and will scale up the number of providers involved as the programme develops. These providers are listed in the providers planning to deliver the T Level Transition Programme from the 2020 to 2021 academic year. They are taking part in a preparation year from September 2019 to July 2020 and in delivery between September 2020 and July 2021.

We have appointed the Association of Colleges (AoC), working with The Challenge Network (TCN) to support these T Level providers in their preparations and delivery, including through opportunities to network and share experiences through national events and peer learning. They will also pull together emerging good practice to support national implementation.

In recognition of the additional costs associated with providers participating in the early phases of development and implementation of the Transition Programme and engaging with the department on this, we are allocating an additional one-off payment of £20,000 to each provider delivering it in 2020 to 2021. Further information can be found in the ‘Provider funding for the delivery of T Levels’ government consultation response.

The T Level Transition Programme Framework for Delivery sets out information and expectations for how the programme should be delivered in academic year 2020 to 2021.

Expression of interest to deliver T Levels in the 2021 to 2022 academic year

Seven new pathways in addition to the original 3 have been agreed for delivery from academic year 2021 to 2022.

As we move into the second year of the T Levels programme, the criteria to select providers for T Level delivery in 2021 to recognise providers delivering technical education to a large number of students. This was designed to increase the number of students taking T Levels in the second year of rollout. It also ensured we were able to select a relatively small number of providers so we can continue providing the right level of support in the early stages of rollout.

We have published the list of 2021 providers and the T Level Routes within which they plan to deliver T Levels from 2021 to 2022 academic year they plan to deliver.

The 2020 providers have been asked if they want expand their offer to deliver any of the additional T Levels introduced in 2021, as long as they are currently delivering to a minimum of 10 qualifying students per T Level subject area they want to deliver. We will publish a list of the T Levels 2020 providers intend to deliver in 2021 to 2022 academic year in the autumn.

T Levels Rollout

We have set out when each T Level will be rolled out in the T Level Action Plan 2019. There are 25 T Levels in total, with the first 3 T Levels being delivered from September 2020 by selected providers.

We have published the list of selected 2020 and 2021 T Level providers and the T Levels they plan to deliver. We are working with these providers to make sure they have the support they need to deliver T Levels successfully and to give them the opportunity to work with us to develop the new programmes.

Funding for T Level Delivery

DfE consulted on its approach for funding T Levels in 2018 to 2019 and subsequently published its response to this in June 2019.

In July DfE published detailed information on how we will fund T Levels in the academic year 2020 to 2021.

On the 31 August 2019, the Chancellor announced an additional £400m for 16 to 19 education for academic year 2020 to 2021. As a result, we will be increasing the funding rate for 16 to 19 education, including T Levels, by 4.7% and the new funding rates have now been published.

As the first T Level providers start gearing up to roll-out the first 3 courses from September 2020, the Government has also announced an additional £3.75 million for 2019 to 2020 to help them with the cost of working closely with Government on the design of the programme such as attending design workshops, and producing high quality materials.

Support for professional development

To ensure that T Levels deliver great outcomes for learners, we are committed to ensuring that teachers and leaders have the support they need to deliver them well. The new T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer, led by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has been available since May this year at no charge to providers planning to deliver T Levels from 2020 and in the future.

This flexible Continuing Professional Development offer is being shaped around the needs of providers and their workforce alongside relevant regional, employer and curriculum needs. As part of the ongoing training needs analysis, ETF Professional Development Advisers are visiting T Level providers termly to understand what specific training needs providers have, and create training packages that build on the excellent skills and practice that already exists within the sector.

The ETF has also created a guide to make it easy for staff to understand how to make the most of the TLPD support available, depending on their role.

Capital funding

DfE launched a capital fund of £38 million that was open until Wednesday 17 April 2019 to bids from eligible providers delivering the first 3 T levels in 2020. This will support them to make the investments needed in facilities and equipment, ready to deliver high quality, industry relevant programmes from September 2020.

Communications and marketing

Effective communications and marketing are critical in helping key audiences engage with and support the implementation plan for T Levels.

The NexT Level campaign launched on 7 October. It will ensure young people have the information they need to apply for the first of the pioneering T Levels starting September 2020.

The campaign will feature across social media, on-demand television, posters and other digital platforms. There is also a new website.

Thank you

Co-creating T Levels with you and other key delivery partners is crucial to their success. We are incredibly grateful for your commitment to the reforms.



If you have any queries about anything on this page, please get in touch with us by using our ESFA enquiry form.

Published 6 March 2018 
Last updated 10 October 2019 + show all updates

  1.  Updated links to published action plan and the transition programme delivery framework
  2.  Update to the Transition Programme section following the recent publication of the list of providers planning to deliver the T Level Transition Programme.
  3.  Links added to the T Level consultation response and 2021 provider list.
  4.  This page has been updated to provide the latest information about T Levels.
  5.  Link to consultation response and list of providers selected to deliver T Levels in academic year 2020 to 2021 added.
  6.  Latest information for education providers about T Levels including information about the data collection survey.
  7.  First published.

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