Westminster Education Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

T Level implementation - content, assessment, support for providers, and student inclusion

Morning, Thursday, 9th July 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine the implementation of T Levels - focussing on:

  • content and assessment,
  • support for providers, and
  • student inclusion, following recent confirmation that the first wave will be introduced on schedule in September.

The discussion in detail:

The T Level first wave

  • Assessing preparation and the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on:
  • Addressing issues raised by the NFER including:

    • engaging more employers in industry placements,
    • concerns surrounding the long term recruitment of staff, and
    • ensuring a smooth transition for students to higher education.

T Levels in the education market

  • The status of T Levels within the wider 16-19 vocational technical education landscape, looking at:

    • the fit of T Levels with existing provision,
    • transition from Level 2 qualification to T Levels following the DfE announcement of the T Level Transition Programme for 16-19 year olds who are not ready to begin a T Level,
    • how learning and best practice can be shared amongst stakeholders, and
    • T Levels in relation to the Apprenticeship Reform Programme which is due to move into its next phase following the close of its initial five-year transformation period this year.

The relationship with employers

  • Involvement of businesses - and the potential impact of initiatives announced by the DfE, including:

    • an employer support package including new guidance to support employers and providers,
    • a new £7m pilot scheme to explore ways to cover the costs, and
    • ‘How to’ guides, workshops, and other practical support for employers to assist in the delivery of the industry placement element of the new qualification.
  • Accessibility of the industry placement - required to last at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days - looking at concerns including:

    • lack of large employers in rural areas and challenges for students in travelling to and from placements,
    • issues with securing industry-relevant employer placements,
    • difficulties for post-16 students with part-time jobs or caring responsibilities, and
    • competition for placements with other work-based learning courses.

Resources and awareness

  • Funding - with the gap between technical and academic education larger in UK than in other leading European countries, including:

    • the impact of funding proposals for T Levels on groups of people with protected characteristics,
    • funding for Maths and English, and the one-off payment system, with colleges calling payments throughout each year or an increase in support for students needing extra teaching, and
    • steps to facilitate students with special education needs and disabilities and those at young offender institutions.
  • Marketing - approaches to raising awareness of the new qualification amongst students and their households, and in schools.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • As the education sector and employers prepare for the implementation of the first wave of T Levels qualifications following the recent publication of the content for the first three T Levels and confirmation from the Government that their introduction will go ahead as planned;
  • With rising calls for delays to be made to the launch of the first wave due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant uncertainty;
  • With preparations continuing to be made ahead of T Levels to be launched in 2023 as the IFATE launches a consultation on the outline content further T Levels;
  • NFER’s follow-up research - How are providers preparing for delivery? - which provided an update on the steps that providers are taking to implement the new qualification;
  • Following the recent announcement by the Government of a further £110m to facilitate the delivery of the new qualifications, with:
    • £95m invested through the T Level Capital Fund from 2021 to ensure that students have access to high quality equipment and facilities, and
    • a further £15m on the expansion of T Level Professional Development (TLPD) which aims to support the development of FE leaders and teachers.
  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education inviting awarding bodies to develop further qualifications for wave three: legal, finance and accounting; engineering and manufacturing; and business and administration.

The agenda:

  • Key policy priorities ahead of the implementation of the first wave;
  • Implementing T Levels and their potential contribution to the wider vocational system;
  • Design and assessment of the new qualification - supporting providers, preparing the workforce and ensuring quality;
  • Delivering the first wave of T Levels - content and standards; and
  • Delivering the industry placements - funding, accessibility and inclusion.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education; the Cabinet Office; the DCMS; the Department for International Trade; the Government Digital Service; the Ministry of Defence and the Valuation Office Agency.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Sue Lovelock

Director of Professional and Technical Education, Department for Education

Keynote Speakers

Sue Lovelock

Director of Professional and Technical Education, Department for Education

Carmel Grant

Deputy Director, Technical Education Implementation and Delivery, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education


Lord Lucas

House of Lords


Mark Compton

Director, Employability, Partnerships and Adult Learning, Access Creative College

Julie Hyde

Executive Director, Education & Training Strategy, CACHE

Sonali Parekh

Head of Policy, Federation of Small Businesses

Becci Newton

Deputy Director, IES Public Policy Research

Cerian Ayres

Head of Technical Education, Education and Training Foundation

Jim Grant

Principal, Cirencester College, Gloucestershire

Patricia Seabright

Director, Archimedes Consulting and Chair, Management and Administration T Level Panel

Claire Johnson

Research Director, IFF Research

Cindy Rampersaud

Senior Vice President, BTEC and Apprenticeship, Pearson Education

Senior speaker to be confirmed from Gatsby Foundation

Suzanne Straw

Deputy Head of Research, NFER

Amy Smith

Head of Talent, Framestore and Chair, Media, Broadcasting and Production T Level Panel

Catherine Sezen

Senior Policy Manager FE, Association of Colleges