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T-level assessment organisations call for 12 month delay

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The awarding bodies designing the first three T-levels have called on the government to delay their rollout by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pearson, City & Guilds and NCFE have agreed with the Federation of Awarding Bodies that their launch should be combined with wave two and begin in September 2021 instead of 2020.

In a letter to education secretary Gavin Williamson, FAB chief executive Tom Bewick warned that colleges, and therefore the “delivery network”, will be in “crisis management and recovery mode up until the autumn term”.

Similarly, asking employers to provide high-quality industry placements at this time “looks very challenging when you consider that the deep economic shock we are experiencing will pre-occupy company survival plans for at least the next 12 months”.

He added: “Following consultation with our members and, specifically, those AOs that have to date successfully secured licences from you to design these new technical qualifications, I am requesting that you postpone the wave one commencement of three T-Levels in September.”

Fifty providers are signed up to deliver the first three routes – in digital, construction and education – from September 2020.

The Department for Education said earlier there are currently no plans to delay roll-out and they expect the new post-16 technical qualifications to launch as planned in less than six months.

Bewick also called for the government’s review of qualifications at level 3 and below be put back by one academic year to “provide some much-needed stability in the post-16 sector”.



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  1. The delivery of T-levels should be postponed, if not abandoned altogether. There are already existing vocational and technical exams which are well-understood. The government has tried to rubbish these and replace them with T-levels which will, in any case, only offer certification at Level 3 level.
    The emphasis on T-levels ignores those young people studying Level 1 and 2 courses – those entry level courses which equip them for future careers.