13 October 2023 - T Level Newsletter

This week's newsletter includes updates on:

Message from the DfE T Level and T Level Foundation Year Teams

A warm welcome to the start of the new academic year to you all.

We would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to you and your organisation for all your continued hard work to deliver T Levels and the T Level Foundation Year. The second cohort of T Level students completed their courses this summer with a fantastic pass rate of over 90%, and have moved on to apprenticeships, employment, or university.

You may have seen the recent announcement from the Prime Minister about the new qualification for 16–19-year-olds, the Advanced British Standard. At the heart of the announcement is the ambition to remove the artificial separation between technical and academic qualifications, and create a single, unified structure for all 16–19-year-olds. This will build on the reform agenda pursued over the last decade. The new qualification will increase the average number of subjects students take, to provide greater breadth. Students will be able to choose a combination of bigger and smaller subjects, called ‘majors’ and ‘minors’. Students will typically study a minimum of five subjects, or four if they’re focused on preparing for a specific technical occupation.

The technical subjects within the qualification will be based on the content of T Levels and occupational standards that employers and IfATE have carefully designed, supporting progression into higher technical education, apprenticeships and employment.

This is not the end of T Levels, which will be the backbone of the new qualification. As you are all familiar with the T Levels’ structure, you will see a lot of elements will be very similar - including a ‘core’ module, an occupational specialism and industry placement.

It will take around a decade to the introduce the Advanced British Standard – and until then, A levels and T Levels will continue to offer high-quality education for 16- to 18-year-olds. With 18 employer-designed T Levels now available at over 250 schools and colleges across England, T Levels remain the best option to help 16–19-year-olds future-proof their skills and secure great careers. The Advanced British Standard policy paper reiterated a strong commitment to reforming technical qualifications and to growing the T Level – including rolling out future T Levels. The Department will be actively encouraging students to consider these options and will continue to promote the T Level.

A consultation will open this autumn on the Advanced British Standard, asking you and other stakeholders for you views on its development. We look forward to continuing to work with you and thank you again for your commitment to providing high-quality technical qualifications to young people..


T Levels Celebration Week

A huge thank you to all those providers who shared their student stories and activities during last week’s T Levels Celebration Week. 

It was fantastic to read so much inspiring T Levels content around the Foundation Year, progression from T Levels and industry placements – including employer and student testimonies and great photos of T Levels facilities and equipment. You can see many of them under the hashtag, at #TLevelsWeek - Search / X (twitter.com) and also on LinkedIn. 

We also had our first ‘Recap and Refresher’ webinar on the Thursday, which provided an overview of the different aspects of T Levels delivery, an update on more recent policy changes and where to find guidance and support. If you missed it, the recording can be found here

T Levels Week is a key moment during the key to promote T Levels and underline their benefits, so many thanks for all the work you put into this.  


October 2023 T Level data collection – for 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 providers

We issued the October 2023 data collection on 18 September 2023, and this will close on 13th October.

If you do not complete this form before the deadline, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide the up-front revenue funding and specialist equipment funding to support T Level delivery for the 2024 to 2025 academic year. We also use this data to support the development of T Level tools including the Course Directory, any future wave of capital funding that might be available, and to update the Gov.uk T Level provider list.

If you have any queries about completing the form, please email TLDC.ENQUIRIES@education.gov.uk.


Industry Placements - provider drop in sessions

Providers are invited to attend a new series of “drop-in” sessions on T Level industry placements.

These sessions are an opportunity for T Level Industry Placement co-ordinators to ask questions or test ideas about designing placements that best utilise the industry placement delivery approaches that are available.

The first of these sessions is on Wednesday 18th October 2023, 11am – 12pm and will include a short presentation from Chichester College Group on their approach to employer engagement.

Join the meeting using this link - Click here to join the meeting and please submit your questions ahead of the session using this Microsoft Forms  – https://forms.office.com/e/7UwJtKqgnL.


Reminder: 2021 T Level learners certificates 

We will soon start printing certificates and statements of achievements for your 2021 T Level learners. Please check your organisation’s address is correct before 31 October. Find out more here


Industry Placement – Employer Support Fund

As a reminder the Employer Support Fund designed to support employers legitimate costs incurred when offering an industry placement is now live. Placements must begin before 31 March 2024 to be eligible for funding. 

As part of our evaluation of the fund it is vital providers submit evidence of payments made to employers via our Employer Support Fund Online Tool in a timely manner and encourage employers to share impact statements of how the ESF has supported them via employer.supportfund@education.gov.uk. 


Your invitation to upcoming T Level Networks

These 90 minute online events enable you to connect with other T Level providers and share what works and what to avoid with T Level delivery.

  • There are ‘in delivery’ and ‘pre-delivery’ options so you can choose the ones most suited to your T Level journey
  • Delegates will receive a ‘post-network resource toolkit’, linking to relevant resources and information
  • Some networks will have guest speakers, AO updates and sector intelligence sharing.

With Networks focusing on industry placements, assessment, curriculum design and more, there’s something for everyone. Find out more and book your places now! 


Gatsby Technical Education Networks (TEN) Programme – Creating free teaching materials, undertaking research and hosting events to support T Levels

The first online specialist teacher groups of 2023/24 for Digital, Health and Science as part of Gatsby’s Technical Education Networks (TEN) programme have now been confirmed. The confirmed dates are below.

  • Health and Science – Tuesday 17th October 4:00-5:00pm
  • Digital – Thursday 19th October 4:00-5:00pm

The 1hr online Teams meeting will showcase some of the final teaching materials produced as part of the TEN programme prior to publication, largely informed by the fantastic insight gathered from previous meetings and our route conferences in Manchester in July. Many thanks to those who were able to attend.

The meeting will include a first look at and key updates on the TEN website launch and when the materials will be available, as well as beginning to identify early insights on any potential new topics for teaching material development.

If you would like to attend, please email Kelly Butterworth, TEN Project Officer: kelly.butterworth@gatsby.org.uk providing your name, role, provider and the route (Health, Science or Digital) you would like to join.


Awarding Organisations Updates


We would like to hear from you! 

T Level Technical Qualifications: Provider Survey: Summer term 2023- NOW LIVE

The T Level Technical Qualifications are approved and managed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). IfATE monitor the performance of the Awarding Organisations delivering the TQs. 

To help inform the approach towards delivering T Level Technical Qualifications, IfATE would welcome views and feedback from Wave 1, 2 and 3 Providers on the services that the Awarding Organisations provide to you.

Please click on the link below and complete the short survey. The survey is now live and will close on the 10 November 2023 at 11.59pm. 

T Level Technical Qualifications Provider Survey Summer Term 2023 (cognitoforms.com)

IfATE appreciate the time you have taken to complete the survey as your feedback provides valuable insight to improve the services that the Awarding Organisations provide to you.



Decoupling (changing the way students can take the core exam and ESP in their first attempt) reminder from NCFE 

Following the consultation by Ofqual earlier this year, T Level students are now able to decouple the two core sub-components, allowing them to take only the core exam (both papers), or only the core ESP in their first attempt. Find out more about these changes here https://www.ncfe.org.uk/technical-education/t-levels/provider-hub/supporting-delivery/decoupling/ 


City & Guilds

In-person support events in London and Wakefield

In December City & Guilds will be hosting two face-to-face T Level core assessment support events, brought to you by City & Guilds, EAL and ILM.

Bringing together centres who are delivering the T Level core to share good practice, this event is free-of-charge and will be relevant to providers currently delivering, as well as those intending to deliver T Levels. If you attended these events last year, you do not need to attend again as similar topics will be covered. However, if any staff members were not able to attend, or are new to T Levels, please feel free to register and come along. Events and webinars - T Levels | City & Guilds (cityandguilds.com)

Autumn series 

The standard entry (booking) period for the autumn series has now passed (30 September). Any entries for the autumn core assessments, including the Employer-Set project (ESP) will now incur late fees. For providers who have learners booked onto the autumn series, on-demand support webinars looking at preparing for core theory exams and ESP are available on City & Guilds events page. Summer 2023 Core Reports and past assessment materials are available on the relevant qualification webpage below to support preparation for the autumn series. Resource Hub - T Levels | City & Guilds (cityandguilds.com)



Pearson’s September E-Bulletin was published and included the following:  

  • Registrations and Entries 
  • Q&A Networks and Training events 
  • 2023-2025 Key Dates Schedules 
  • Decoupling  
    Read the September E-Bulletin

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