What is the Specialist Equipment Allocation (SEA)?


The Specialist Equipment Allocation (SEA) is one of the elements of the T Level Capital Fund to purchase industry standard specialist equipment when you start delivery of a T Level route for the first time. 

We make SEA payments at the route level (for example, digital or health and science), irrespective of the number of individual T Levels you plan to deliver within that route, and you will only receive funding once per route. We’ll not make additional SEA payments if you add T Levels to routes you have already received funding for.


Grant requirements 

You cannot use the specialist equipment allocation to support building work and must only use it to help buy the industry standard specialist equipment you need to deliver T Levels. If your allocation is spent on equipment that is not primarily used for supporting T Level delivery, we reserve the right to reclaim funding.

Your total spend per pupil should be roughly equal to the amount you were originally allocated for that route, as set out in your grant offer letter. If you plan to reduce the number of places you are offering on a route with a high per-pupil allocation and increase the number of places on a route with a lower per-pupil allocation, we’ll not allow you to transfer all spare equipment allocation from that route to another.

We’ll allow you to move a small proportion of funding – up to a maximum of 20% – between T Level routes if you can make a strong case for why additional equipment is needed in a particular route. If you would like to move the allocation between routes, email routesreadiness.te@education.gov.uk.


Match funding

We ask that you provide a funding contribution equal to 50% of the specialist equipment value. Match funding is not an absolute requirement, and we’ll leave you to decide whether you are able to afford this match funding.

Match funding should not usually include other central government funding as part of this contribution. We’ll ask you for information on the amount and sources of money you have invested.


Eligible equipment

You must account for the equipment you purchase as a capital asset primarily used to support the delivery of T Levels, in line with your internal accounting policies. You should consult the technical specification from the relevant awarding organisation to find the suggested equipment requirements for each T Level.

Examples of eligible equipment

There follow some examples of the types of equipment providers have previously purchased using the specialist equipment allocation.

These are illustrative examples. It is up to providers to be satisfied that equipment can be shown as a capital asset within their internal accounting policies.

T Level Example equipment
Business and administration Laptops, virtual-conferencing equipment
Construction Workbench, CNC machine, electrical components and circuits, hand tools
Digital VR equipment, laptops, headsets
Education and early years Baby simulator, baby-changing unit, child sensory items
Engineering and manufacturing Milling machine, 3D printer, lathe, CNC machine
Health and science Blood pressure monitor, first-aid kit, mannequins, hospital bed, wheelchair
Legal, finance and accounting Laptops, mock courtroom equipment


Wave 4 Specialist Equipment Allocation – 2023 T Level providers

Eligible Wave 4 providers who were selected to deliver T Levels from September 2023 received their equipment allocation in March 2023.

We expect you to spend your specialist equipment allocation by 31 December 2023.

If you received Wave 4 SEA, you must provide one monitoring return to us:

  1. Monitoring form: you are required to confirm what you have purchased and the cost of the equipment. This must be returned to routesreadiness.te@education.gov.uk by 26 January 2024.

We will also ask you for information on the sources of, and amount of money you have invested from your own funds.  We reserve the right to recover any SEA that is not used for the purpose intended.


Wave 5 Specialist Equipment Allocation - 2024 T Level providers

To receive the specialist equipment allocation for the 2024 to 2025 academic year, new providers must have registered to deliver T Levels by midnight on 24 March 2023.

New and continuing T Level providers delivering T Level routes for the first time will be eligible to receive funding if they complete the May 2023 and October 2023 T Level data collections. You need to confirm projected student numbers for the first 4 years of delivery of the T Level route, starting with the 2024 to 2025 academic year.

We expect to make wave 5 payments to eligible providers in early 2024. Before receiving the allocation, we’ll send all providers a grant offer letter confirming the total allocation split by route and the terms of the grant.


If you have any questions about SEA, please contact routesreadiness.te@education.gov.uk



Key information

Published by: Department for Education

W4 monitoring form.xlsx

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