Guidance

T Levels: next steps for providers

Information for post-16 providers on the next steps towards delivery of T Levels.

T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A levels. T Levels will combine classroom theory, practical learning and a substantial industry placements (a minimum 315 hours) to make sure students have real experience of the workplace. The 2-year T Level courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content will meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work. They provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door to highly skilled employment, an apprenticeship or higher level study.

T Level Action Plan

The Department for Education published its third T Level Action Plan on 7 October 2019. The action plan gives an update on government’s progress in reforming technical education as set out in the Post-16 skills plan.

This action plan includes updates on:

  • progress towards the delivery of T Levels in 2020 and preparations for 2021 delivery
  • T Levels which will be available for delivery in 2022 and 2023
  • clarification on various T Level policy areas, including grading, results and certification and UCAS points for T Levels
  • wider qualifications reform work

Read an introduction to T Levels for more detail about T Levels.

T Level transition programme

As stated in the T Level Action Plan we are developing the T Level Transition Programme for students who are not ready to start a T Level but have the potential to progress onto one following a tailored preparation programme.

We are taking a phased approach to implementation of the T Level Transition Programme alongside the introduction of T Levels in September 2020. We are beginning by working closely with a small number of providers and will scale up the number of providers involved as the programme develops. These providers are listed in the providers planning to deliver the T Level Transition Programme from the 2020 to 2021 academic year. They are taking part in a preparation year from September 2019 to July 2020 and in delivery between September 2020 and July 2021.

We have appointed the Association of Colleges (AoC) to support these T Level providers in their preparations and delivery, including through opportunities to network and share experiences through national events and peer learning. They will also pull together emerging good practice to support national implementation.

In recognition of the additional costs associated with providers participating in the early phases of development and implementation of the T Level Transition Programme and engaging with the department on this, we have allocated an additional one-off payment of £20,000 to each provider delivering it in 2020 to 2021. We have now confirmed that we are extending this payment to providers delivering the Transition Programme for the first time in 2021 to 2022 as well. Further information can be found in the guidance we have published on how T Levels will be funded in academic year 2020 to 2021.

The T Level Transition Programme Framework for Delivery sets out information and expectations for how the programme should be delivered in academic year 2020 to 2021.

T Levels rollout 2020, 2021 and 2022

We have set out when each T Level will be rolled out in the T Level Action Plan 2019. There are 25 T Levels in total, with the first 3 T Levels being delivered from September 2020 by selected providers.

The technical qualification for the first 3 T Levels have now been approved by the Institute and accredited by Ofqual. They are:

  • design, surveying and planning for construction
  • digital production, design and development
  • education and childcare

We have published the list of selected 2020, 2021 and 2022 T Level providers. We are working with these providers to make sure they have the support they need to deliver T Levels successfully and to give them the opportunity to work with us to develop the new programmes.

2020 providers will be able to deliver any of the T Levels available from September 2022, subject to meeting the awarding body centre approval requirements.

2021 providers will also be able to expand their offer to deliver T Levels in 2022, as long as they are currently delivering to a minimum of 10 qualifying students per T Level route (subject area).

2022 providers will be able to deliver T Levels in 2022 in routes where they are currently delivering to a minimum of 10 qualifying students in relevant linked subject areas.

Selecting providers to deliver T Levels from September 2023

We have announced our approach for selecting providers to deliver T Levels from September 2023.

Approach to date

For 2020 to 2022 we took a phased approach to the roll out of T Levels by selecting only a small group of providers to deliver T Levels. Starting with a small group in the first few years enabled us to work closely with them and ensure we could give them the support they needed as they prepared to deliver T Levels.

Throughout this roll out period we have worked closely with the 2020 providers to test and shape the programme and their feedback, which we have been able to build on already, has been invaluable to us.

T Levels are being rolled out over the next 3 years. The first 3 T Levels will be available in September 2020, another 7 in September 2021, another 8 in September 2022 and the remainder in September 2023.

Approach for September 2023

2023 will be the fourth year of T Level roll out and we intend to have all T Levels available by this point. To sustain momentum and reinforce T Levels as a mainstream offer for all students, we are increasing the number of providers able to deliver them. To take this forward all providers currently delivering 16 to 19 study programmes will be eligible to deliver some of the available T Levels from September 2023:

  • T Levels that were introduced in 2020 and 2021 will be able to be delivered by any providers delivering 16 to 19 study programmes
  • T Levels introduced in 2022 and 2023 will be able to be delivered by Ofsted Good and Outstanding providers only

Providers will no longer have to submit evidence of prior experience of delivering similar subjects or financial health. We will announce how providers can register their intentions to deliver T Levels from 2023 in January 2021.

Funding for T Level delivery

DfE consulted on its approach for funding T Levels in 2018 to 2019 and subsequently published its response to this in June 2019.

Information on how T Levels are funded can be found on GOV.UK

On the 31 August 2019, the Chancellor announced an additional £400m for 16 to 19 education for academic year 2020 to 2021. As a result, we will be increasing the funding rate for 16 to 19 education, including T Levels, by 4.7% and the new funding rates have now been published.

As the first T Level providers start gearing up to roll-out the first 3 courses from September 2020, the government has announced that the Early Adopter Development Funding will continue for a further year to help the early providers with the costs of working closely with government on the design of the programme. This will provide capacity for activities such as implementation planning, attending design workshops, and producing high quality materials.

Support for professional development

To ensure that T Levels deliver great outcomes for learners, we are committed to ensuring that teachers and leaders have the support they need to deliver them well. The T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer, led by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has been available since May 2019 at no charge to providers planning to deliver T Levels from 2020 and in the future.

The offer will continue to be shaped around the needs of providers and their workforce alongside relevant regional, employer and curriculum needs. Providers will see changes to the offer – for example, a move to Regional Facilitators to enhance and replace the Professional Development Adviser role, a more structured and tailored CPD journey, more opportunities for collaboration, and new leadership opportunities.

To ensure providers are up to date with the latest opportunities, the ETF will continue to publicise training and CPD via their newsletter and webpage.

Capital funding

The T Levels Capital Fund (TLCF) will continue to help those further education providers at the forefront of delivering these important reforms to be ready to teach T Levels from September 2021.

We have made available £133m capital funding for T Levels starting in 2020 and 2021, to ensure T Level providers and students have access to the latest, high quality equipment and facilities during their studies.

This is the second wave of the T Levels Capital Fund, comprised of 2 different elements – the Building and Facilities Improvement Grant (BFIG) and Specialist Equipment Allocation (SEA).

Communications and marketing

Effective communications and marketing are critical in helping key audiences engage with and support the implementation plan for T Levels.

The NexT Level campaign launched on 7 October. It will ensure young people have the information they need to apply for the first of the pioneering T Levels starting September 2020.

The campaign will feature across social media, on-demand television, posters and other digital platforms. There is also a new website with sections for both students/parents and for employers.

Thank you

Co-creating T Levels with you and other key delivery partners is crucial to their success. We are incredibly grateful for your commitment to the reforms.

Resources

Queries

If you have any queries about anything on this page, please get in touch with us by using our ESFA enquiry form.

Published 6 March 2018
Last updated 11 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Information added about selecting providers to deliver T Levels from September 2023

  2. Refreshed page to reflect latest updates.

  3. information regarding expressing an interest to deliver T Levels from 2022 to 2023 academic year has been added to the page

  4. Updated links to published action plan and the transition programme delivery framework

  5. Update to the Transition Programme section following the recent publication of the list of providers planning to deliver the T Level Transition Programme.

  6. Links added to the T Level consultation response and 2021 provider list.

  7. This page has been updated to provide the latest information about T Levels.

  8. Link to consultation response and list of providers selected to deliver T Levels in academic year 2020 to 2021 added.

  9. Latest information for education providers about T Levels including information about the data collection survey.

  10. First published.