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This conference focused on the future of the level 3 qualifications system following the Department for Education’s review of post-16 qualifications, and the Skills and Post-16 Education Act becoming law.
Areas for discussion included:
- designing a coherent qualifications system
- next steps for funding
- continuation of the T Level rollout and raising awareness of the qualification
- progression routes under the new system
- collaboration between employers and the FE sector
It was a timely opportunity to examine the future of Applied General Qualifications, following the publication by Government of a provisional list of qualifications that will be defunded from 2024 due to an overlap with T Levels. Other topics for discussion included the impact of the decision on the sector and on students - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds - and the value of AGQs within the qualifications system.
The conference also followed Ofqual’s consultation on the future regulation of alternative qualifications to A Levels and T Levels. It looked at future grading scales, branding of qualifications, the conduct of non-exam assessment, how to drive up standards and their future design.
The agenda also looked at:
- achieving high quality provision and standards throughout the system
- information, advice and guidance (IAG) - priorities for providing clarity for students and raising awareness of qualification choice
- aligning post-16 qualifications with the needs of the labour market and tackling skills shortages
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with:
- Jenifer Burden, Director of Programmes, The Gatsby Charitable Foundation
- Helen Bowles, Head of New Concepts (Post-16 Qualifications), Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
- Claire Gill, Director, Strategic Relationships VTQ, Ofqual
- John Acland-Hood, Head of T-Level Provider Readiness, Department for Education
- Paul Steele, Team Leader, Technical Education & Qualifications Reform Division, Department for Education
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the BEIS; Department for Education; Department for the Economy, NI; the IfATE; DLUHC; the Tertiary Education Review, NI; the Cabinet Office; DWP; DIT; the IPO; the GLD; the Social Mobility Commission; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.