Westminster Education Forum

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Next steps for Level 3 qualifications reform in England

Morning, Tuesday, 21st May 2024


This conference will consider the future of reformed Level 3 qualifications and priorities for the post-16 qualification landscape in England.


It will be a timely opportunity to discuss the rollout of AAQs, the new suite of reformed, level 3, post-16, alternative academic qualifications, and how Level 3 qualifications reform now fits with long-term ambitions for the qualification landscape, and alongside the proposed Advanced British Standard (ABS) and ABS (Occupational).


Stakeholders and policymakers will examine what has been learned from the approvals and regulatory process for AAQs, and best practice in current teaching across Level 3.


Attendees will consider preparations for the delivery of reformed technical qualifications, looking at next steps for professional development for teachers and raising awareness of the new suite of qualifications for learners and employers. The role of employers in designing reformed technical qualifications will be discussed, as well as what will be needed if the qualifications are to help achieve the aim of bridging skills gaps and meeting the needs of the labour market moving forward.


Delegates will also assess priorities for T Levels, discussing progress so far, assessing the value and availability of work placements for students and employers, and addressing concerns surrounding T Level recruitment and retention. Attendees will look at strategies for increasing the enrolment of students in the T Level Foundation Year and T Level programmes, and working with employers to improve work placements and student progression.


Further sessions consider the impact on staff workload and student satisfaction, as well as the alignment of Level 2 and below qualifications with Level 3 reform. Delegates will assess the offer for adult learners and the role of qualifications at Level 3 in improving social mobility. They will assess the destinations of Level 3 students and how well the reformed qualifications are likely to prepare students for further study and the labour market.


We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Craig Myers, Deputy Director, T Level Policy, Department for Education; Tom Reed, Head, Cohort Impact, Department for Education; Dr Elizabeth Gregory, Lecturer in Education, University of Manchester; and John Yarham, Deputy Chief Executive, The Careers and Enterprise Company.


Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • the future of Level 3 qualifications: assessing the impact of reform - priorities for the qualification landscape moving forward
  • student attainment and progression: student awareness of qualification options - careers guidance - progression to higher education and employment
  • delivery of reformed technical qualifications: professional development for teachers - employer and learner awareness - bridging skills gaps and anticipating the needs of the labour market
  • alignment with Level 2 qualification reform: pathways for progression for Level 2 students - options for adult learners - assessing the progress of the T Level Transition Programme - alternative policy perspectives
  • the future of T Levels: addressing concerns surrounding work placements - student recruitment and retention - progression to higher education and employment - impact of the Advanced British Standard

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DfE; IfATE; CMA; DBT; Department for the Economy, NI; DoE, NI; DSIT; GLD; HMPPS; IPO; and the Welsh Government.



Keynote Speakers

Tom Reed

Head, Cohort Impact, Department for Education

Craig Myers

Deputy Director, T Level Policy, Department for Education

Dr Elizabeth Gregory

Lecturer in Education, University of Manchester

John Yarham

Deputy Chief Executive, The Careers and Enterprise Company

Keynote Speakers

Tom Reed

Head, Cohort Impact, Department for Education

Craig Myers

Deputy Director, T Level Policy, Department for Education

Dr Elizabeth Gregory

Lecturer in Education, University of Manchester

John Yarham

Deputy Chief Executive, The Careers and Enterprise Company

Chairs

Lord Hampton

Lord Aberdare

Member, Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee

Speakers

Rachel Dillon

Senior Product and Commercial Manager, NCFE

Jamie Roberts

Policy Manager, Russell Group

George Osei-Oppong Junior

Chief Executive Officer, HostHelp

Ruth Coyle

Director of Admissions, Careers and Technical Education, La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School, London

Rebecca McSorley

Lead Practice Educator, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Tom Dower

Principal and Chief Executive Officer, UTC South Durham

Kevin Gilmartin

Post-16 and Colleges Specialist, Association for School and College Leaders

Johnny Rich

Chief Executive, Engineering Professors' Council; and Chief Executive, Push