Last week the Secretary of State released the new T levels action plan, which confirmed the first three T levels will be in education and childcare, digital and construction.
This publication follows the post-16 skills plan, which was published in July 2016. It provides an update on progress made in developing policy and implementing the reforms set out in the Skills Plan.
What does the Action Plan do?
- It outlines the key principles underpinning the delivery of T levels and how they fit within the wider 16 to 19 offer
- It provides more detail on the Department for Education's plans for implementation from 2020
- It sets out the approach to co-creating the next phase of T level implementation, indicating how, where and when business, education and training providers and awarding organisations can come on board.
The new T level qualifications, which are grouped into 15 different groups or 'routes', are being developed by industry professionals and will sit alongside apprenticeships within a reformed skills training system.
The T level programme for 16 to 19-year-olds will generally be taught full-time in a college or other provider, with time spent on a work placement. Individuals will be assessed at the end of the programme to test and certify their skills. Students who pass all parts of the programme will be awarded a T level certificate. Progression options will include higher and degree level apprenticeships, or higher technical education, including technical degrees.
The DfE is also considering technical education at levels four and five as well as the offer for those at entry level and level one alongside these reforms.
The first of the new qualifications will be taught from 2020, with the full set of T levels introduced by 2022. According to the new T levels action plan, the education and childcare route will include T levels for roles such as nursery assistant, early years officer, teaching assistant and youth worker.
In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor confirmed the government will put in an additional £100m for the first teaching on new technical education routes in 2019/20 (the final year of this spending review period). This will rise each year as more routes are introduced until there is teaching on all 15 routes in September 2022, which is when the extra funding will reach an annual figure of over £500m. This funding will support the new commitment to increase the amount of training for 16 to 19-year-olds by more than 50 per cent to more than 900 hours a year.
A consultation will be launched by the end of 2017, and it will cover a range of issues from the implications of this policy for current provision to the design principles for the T levels themselves.
The full T levels Action Plan is available here.