Ofsted to carry out thematic survey on T levels

The Department for Education has commissioned Ofsted to carry out a thematic survey on the implementation of T levels and the T-level transition programme.

T levels, which are equivalent to three A levels and include a substantial industry placement, are intended to deliver high-standard technical education to prepare young people to work in a number of important occupations that meet the needs of industry. The first three T-level courses began in September 2020. They comprise: design, surveying and planning for construction; digital production, design and development; and education and childcare.

The T-level transition programme is targeted at students who are not yet ready to start a T level but who have the potential to undertake one following a programme of tailored support and preparation.

The survey, announced by the DfE, will take place over their first two years of operation, 2020/21 and 2021/22. An interim report on Ofsted’s findings will be published in September 2021 following the first year of the survey. The full report will be published in September 2022.

Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s Deputy Director, Further Education and Skills, said: “We will be visiting a sample of providers delivering T levels and transition programmes from January 2021, either remotely or in person where consideration of public health measures permits.

“Our inspectors will apply the education inspection framework (EIF) methodology to assess educational effectiveness and the quality of education. Our objective is to provide an independent overview of the quality of T levels. The strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement and good practice identified will be aggregated and fed back to the government, as well as to providers, employers, and learners.”

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