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T Levels: update

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What are T Levels?

T Levels are two-year technical study programmes for 16 to 19-year olds that include a qualification and an industry placement. They are intended to give students the knowledge and practical skills to progress into skilled employment at level 3 and above, or higher levels of technical training.

The Department intends for T Levels to become one of the main choices for students after GCSE alongside apprenticeships and A Levels.

You can find a simple overview of them and the subjects that will be available here.

When are they starting?

The first three T Levels will be available at selected colleges and schools (providers) across England in September 2020.

The first courses available will be in:

  • digital production, design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • and education. 

Structure

T Level courses will include the following elements:

  • a technical qualification, which will include:
    • core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
    • specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
  • an industry placement with an employer
  • a minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them

Grading and certification

Students who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*.

The T Level certificate will include:

  • an overall grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*
  • a separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
  • a separate grade for each occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction. 

A student's overall T Level grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component and the occupational specialism(s).

Students who do not pass all elements of their T Level will get a T Level statement of achievement which will show the elements they have completed.

To help T Level students get into higher education, UCAS tariff points will be allocated to T Levels. You can access the tariff information and comparison to A Level here

Action plan

Published at the end of 2018, the Department's T Level action plan provides an update on progress made in developing policy and implementing the reforms set out in the post-16 skills plan.

This action plan includes updates on:

  • Progress on the delivery of T Levels in 2020
  • T Levels for delivery in 2021
  • How providers will be selected to deliver T Levels in 2021
  • Clarification on outstanding qualification design issues, including grading, flexibilities for SEND students, UCAS points for T Levels
  • The assurance and regulatory system for the technical qualifications within T Levels
  • The workforce support that will be made available from spring 2019. 

The action plan is available online here. 

Further information about T levels and next steps for providers can also be accessed on the gov.uk website. 

First published 21 August 2019