T levels: Second wave of subjects announced

T levels will be worth 'the same Ucas points as three A levels', education secretary Damian Hinds will announce

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Closer partnerships between colleges and universities can help students make choices “best suited to their educational needs,” a new report suggests

The second wave of T-level programmes, which will be taught from 2021, have been announced.

The first T levels, in education, construction and digital, will be introduced into around 50 FE providers and schools from September 2020.

In a major speech on technical education today, education secretary Damian Hinds will unveil the next set of courses to be introduced the following year.

These are:

  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Science
  • On-site construction
  • Building services engineering
  • Digital support and services
  • Digital business services

Mr Hinds will also unveil plans for a “new generation” of higher technical qualifications at levels 4 and 5.

Ucas points for T levels

Mr Hinds is also expected to confirm that Ucas points for university applications will be awarded for T levels, with “each programme carrying the same Ucas points as three A levels”. But with different numbers of Ucas points allocated for different A-level grades, it is not yet clear exactly how many Ucas points a T level will be worth.

Allocating Ucas points for T levels, however, means that “young people, parents and employers know they are as stretching as their academic equivalents and will act as a stepping stone to progress to the next level, whether that is a degree, higher-level technical training or an apprenticeship”, according to the Department for Education.

In February, however, some of Britain’s best universities told Tes they had already decided not to accept T levels.

Gold-standard technical qualifications?

Mr Hinds will say that the new qualifications will “help put Britain’s technical education system on a par with the best in the world, like Germany, [the] Netherlands and Switzerland”.

The new programmes will be eventually be backed by £500 million of funding when the qualifications are fully rolled out. The government also announced it was investing £38 million in capital funding “to support the first T-level providers to invest in high-quality equipment and facilities”.

In July, apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton said she would advise her children to "leave it a year" before starting a new qualification like T levels. In May, Mr Hinds rejected a one-year delay to the T-level implementation proposed by the DfE's permanent secretary. 

But the programme received a boost last month when renowned international educationalist Andreas Schleicher, the director for education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, said the T-level programme was a “good step”.

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen is TES' Further Education Editor. He has worked at TES since 2010, and was previously the education correspondent at the Cambridge News. He was the winner of the award for Outstanding National Education Journalism at the CIPR Education Journalism Awards in 2015 and 2013.

Find me on Twitter @stephenexley

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