The T-level reforms will go ahead for a 2020 roll-out, against the advice of the lead civil servant at the Department for Education.
T-levels are the Government’s new two-year technical study programmes. Three T-levels courses will initially be available from September 2020: construction, digital skills and childcare and education, with further courses available from 2023. They will be the third major option to students, alongside apprenticeships and A-levels.
Providers delivering T-levels in 2020 to 2021 will have the opportunity to work closely with DfE to shape and influence the reform programme, designing and testing the details of the programme for the best approaches of implementation. This will serve as a foundation for all other providers to learn as they get ready to deliver in the following years.
In return the DfE will support providers with additional funding for increased learning hours, marketing and communications activity to promote the new programmes, and with professional development for the teachers who will be delivering T-levels.
“No, I’m not worried.” Anne Milton said in response to the worries about delays from legal challenges during the tenders for awarding organisation licences. “If something could go wrong, then my aim is to put in place adequate mitigation to make sure it doesn’t go wrong, and so I don’t worry. I think the DfE is doing a lot of work. I know they had some meetings with the awarding organisations and we’re listening to them and hearing what will make this work better for them.”
The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, also believes that T-levels are going at a “good pace”.
“We’re doing the first teaching of the first three subjects in 54 colleges – this is relatively small-scale beginnings – and this is just over two years away, and we will have a gradual programme of bringing in this entire reform.”