Students

T Levels: what they are?

T Levels are new courses for September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

Students will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas:

  • accountancy
  • agriculture, land management and production
  • animal care and management
  • building services engineering
  • catering
  • craft and design
  • cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • digital business services
  • digital production, design and development
  • digital support and services
  • education
  • financial
  • hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • health
  • healthcare science
  • human resources
  • legal
  • maintenance, installation and repair
  • management and administration
  • manufacturing, processing and control
  • media, broadcast and production
  • onsite construction
  • science

When they will start

The first 3 T Levels will be available at selected colleges, schools and other providers across England in September 2020. This means pupils who entered year 10 in September 2018 will be the first to be able to study them.

A further 7 T Levels will be available in September 2021.

How T Levels will work with other qualifications

T Levels will become one of the main choices for students after GCSE alongside:

  • apprenticeships for students who wish to learn a specific occupation ‘on the job’
  • A levels for students who wish to continue academic education

 T Levels will be based on the same standards as apprenticeships, designed by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute). The total time for a T Level to be around 1,800 hours over the 2 years, including the industry placement. This is a significant increase on most current technical education courses.

This differs from an apprenticeship, which is typically 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom and is more suited to those who know what occupation they want to pursue, want to earn a wage and learn at the same time and are ready to enter the workforce at age 16.

How T Levels are being developed

Employers and providers are working together to develop each T Level, with support from DfE and the Institute. Groups of employers define the skills and requirements for each T Level course by participating in T Level panels. This ensures that students taking T Levels will develop the technical knowledge and skills required by employers in that industry.

The T Level panels have been developing the content for the qualification, based on the same standards as apprenticeships and these plans are being tested and reviewed with students, education providers and employers.

Structure of a T Level

T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:

  • a technical qualification, which will include:
    • core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
    • specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
  • an industry placement with an employer
  • a minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them

Industry placements

Every T Level will include an industry placement with an employer focused on developing the practical and technical skills required for the occupation. These will last a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days) but can last longer. Employers can offer industry placements as a block, day release or a mix of these, and can discuss sharing part of the placement with another employer if necessary.

Providers will support employers offering industry placements. This will include assistance with the necessary paperwork, a careful planning process and support with designing the industry placement.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and National Apprenticeship Service (part of ESFA) will work with employers and providers on industry placements.

Grading and certification

Students who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. They will get a nationally recognised certificate which will show their overall grade and a breakdown of what they have achieved.

The T Level certificate will include:

  • an overall grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*
  • a separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
  • a separate grade for each occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction

It will also include confirmation that the student has:

  • met the minimum requirements for Math and English qualifications
  • completed the industry placement
  • met any additional mandatory requirements

A student’s overall T Level grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component and the occupational specialism(s).

Students who do not pass all elements of their T Level will get a T Level statement of achievement which will show the elements they have completed.

UCAS tariff points

T Levels will provide several progression options to students. These include skilled employment, an apprenticeship and higher education.

To help T Level students get into higher education, UCAS tariff points will be allocated to T Levels.

UCAS points will only be allocated to the overall T Level grade. Students must achieve at least an overall pass grade to receive UCAS points.

UCAS tariff points

T Level overall grade

A level

168

Distinction* (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)

AAA*

144

Distinction

AAA

120

Merit

BBB

96

Pass (C or above on the core)

CCC

72

Pass (D or E on the core)

DDD

 

Timeline

Autumn 2020

First T Level courses start for specific occupations in 3 industries:

  • digital production, design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • education

Autumn 2021

T Level courses start in these subject areas:

  • building services engineering
  • digital business services
  • digital support and services
  • health
  • healthcare science
  • onsite construction
  • science

Autumn 2022

T Level courses start in these subject areas:

  • legal
  • financial
  • accountancy
  • maintenance, installation and repair
  • manufacturing and process
  • design, development and control
  • human resources
  • management and administration

Autumn 2023

T Level courses start in these subject areas:

  • animal care and management
  • agriculture, land management and production
  • craft and design
  • cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • media, broadcast and production
  • hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • catering

Find out more

If you’re interested in finding out more about T Levels, visit the new website where you can add your postcode to find colleges, schools or other providers who’ll be offering the first 3 T Levels in 2020.

Watch industry placement videos to hear from students and employers who have benefitted from industry placements. Read the T Level action plan for detailed information about how the government are developing T Level qualifications for post-16 students.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-t-levels/introduction-of-t-levels

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