Schools invited to bid to deliver third wave of T-levels

Schools can now bid to deliver T-levels in the third year of their roll-out, the Department for Education has announced.

Expressions of interest have been invited from “high performing” schools who want to deliver the new technical qualifications for 16 to 18-year-olds in 2022-23.

Eight new T-levels, in sectors including legal, accounting and manufacturing, will be available, in addition to the ten T-levels that will already on offer from 2020 and 2021.

Sixteen schools – including university technical colleges and studio schools – are currently among the 50 providers due to deliver the first wave of T-levels from September 2020.

The T-level action plan 2019, published by the DfE in October, said the selection criteria had been developed “to expand the number of providers delivering T-levels so the momentum behind the programme continues to build and to ensure good quality providers are delivering in 2022”.

This marked a change from previous years when the Education and Skills Agency stated a desire to select a “relatively small number” of providers so it could “continue providing the right level of support in the early stages of rollout”.

For 2022, schools, UTCs, colleges and independent training providers which are currently delivering to at least ten “qualifying students” per subject area can apply.

Qualifying students include those that are on level 3 technical or vocational qualifications, with at least 360 guided learning hours, from within the sector subject areas for the relevant T-level.

Schools must be rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Those who do not yet have Ofsted ratings need to be able to demonstrate that they have an “equivalent standard of quality”.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said T-levels will “radically shake up technical education as we know it”.

T-levels to be taught from 2022 include financial, maintenance, installation and repair, design and development, management and administration and human resources.

The two-year courses will be equivalent to three A-levels and include classroom learning as well as a mandatory industry placement of at least 315 hours – approximately 45 days.

The first three new qualifications, in the digital sector, construction as well as education and childcare, will be introduced this September. A further seven T-levels will be available from September 2021.

The remaining seven, including courses in agriculture, environment and animal care, catering and hospitality, creative and media, and hair and beauty, will be rolled out from 2023 to bring the total to 25.

The closing date for applications for 2022-23 is midnight on February 28.