Westminster Education Forum

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Next steps for post-16 qualifications in England - reform of technical and academic qualifications and the future for T Levels

August 2022

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

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.

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles