Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below - withdrawal of funding approval for qualifications which overlap with waves 1 and 2 T Levels

We would like to take this opportunity to let providers know that we have published the provisional list of level 3 qualifications which overlap with waves 1 and 2 T Levels.

As we indicated in in the second stage consultation of the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below, we intend to remove funding approval for 16 to 19 year olds from qualifications that overlap with T Levels. For those that overlap with wave 1 and 2 T Levels, this will be from 1 August 2024, unless a qualification is subject to a successful appeal.

The process we used to identify overlapping qualifications is rigorous and has been led by evidence e.g. qualification specifications. We commissioned independent assessors to conduct in depth evaluations of the qualifications in scope. All qualifications placed on the provisional overlap list were carefully assessed and considered against three tests:

  • Is it a technical qualification, in that it primarily aims to support entry to employment in a specific occupational area(s)?
  • Are the outcomes that must be attained by a person taking the qualification similar to those set out in a standard covered by a T Level?
  • Does the qualification aim to support entry to the same occupation(s) as a T Level?

Only qualifications which met all 3 tests are included on the provisional list.

We have contacted the awarding organisations impacted directly - to confirm their qualifications are in scope for the removal of funding approval and to inform them of the appeal process.

We have given impacted awarding organisations until 8 July 2022 to submit an appeal. We will communicate appeal outcomes and publish the final post-appeal list of overlapping qualifications in September 2022.

This will give providers delivering these qualifications approximately two years to adjust to the removal of funding approval and to develop their T Level offer. We are writing to providers to tell them how it can support them to do this.

You can find the details of the qualifications impacted and timelines for the appeals process on GOV.UK.

Please note that we will only accept appeals from awarding organisations.

DFE funding approval for these qualifications for adults will continue, although these qualifications will need to meet new criteria for approval from 1 August 2025. DfE has published guidance today which sets out the future approval process at a high level, and final criteria will be published in Autumn 2022.

You can continue to access support material on the T Levels support for schools and colleges website. Here you can find the latest news and events, as well as guidance, resources and case studies capturing best practice from a range of providers.

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