More awareness needed over new T Levels

The National Foundation for Educational Research has argued that significant work is needed to raise awareness and understanding of T Levels for the programmes to succeed.

Due to begin being taught in classrooms in September 2020, the organisation says that there is concern that young people could miss out on studying T Levels due to a lack of awareness and understanding of what the programmes offer.

Although the government has since launched the NexT Level campaign to raise the profile of the new  qualifications, providers and sector representatives still feel that there remained significant work to do to raise the awareness and understanding of T Levels, including uncertainty around progression routes.

With the majority of universities in the elite Russell Group are yet to decide whether they will accept students who have the qualification and onto what courses, the NFER also suggests that policy makers need to provide more clarity on the progression from T Levels to university and to Level 4 apprenticeships.

Suzanne Straw, Education to Employment Lead at NFER said: “There is no doubt that the positivity and enthusiasm of providers and key sector representatives will drive forward the introduction of the first three T Levels next year. A significant challenge is demonstrating that these new technical education programmes will lead to positive progression into employment, apprenticeships or higher education. As well as focussing on raising awareness of the value of T Levels with students, parents/carers and higher education providers, there needs to be sustained promotion across the full roll out and beyond.

“While providers are optimistic in regards to the introduction of T Levels and the opportunities they will bring, they are facing a range of challenges in introducing large-scale changes so quickly. For example, the late availability of the full T Level specifications in March 2020 and the tight timescale for fully developing the qualifications is still a cause for concern. As the country approaches a General Election, it is imperative that sufficient ongoing investment and support is given to these new technical qualifications to ensure their success.”

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