Good vocational qualifications are needed, but Government’s T-level plans are flawed

FE News reports that young people need high quality vocational qualifications, but the Government’s T-level plans are flawed according to the National Education Union (NEU). 

In its submission to the Department for Education’s consultation on the implementation of T-levels, the NEU says that while T-levels are desirable, they are not necessarily deliverable.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said: “Because the Government has given no indication of how many young people it expects to take T levels, it is impossible to know whether sufficient work placements are likely to be available. If large numbers of students take T-levels, it is highly unlikely that relevant and good quality work placements will be available in the volume required, particularly as young people will be expected to go on placements of up to three months to gain the qualifications.

“Without knowing proposed student numbers, it is also impossible to know if the funding proposed is sufficient.”

“Lessons should be learned from previous vocational education reforms, many of which, such as the 14-19 Diplomas, were subsequently abandoned and failed to create a stable skills system. Otherwise there is a serious risk that yet another generation of young people will leave college with a qualification that has no value.”

In its submission, the NEU also says:

  • Young people’s options should not be limited or narrowed at the age of 16; they should have opportunities to study a blend of technical and academic qualifications at level 3.
  • If school sixth forms are only able to offer academic qualifications (A levels) post-16, this will limit opportunities for students living in rural areas as the time and cost of travelling to a Further Education college will be too great for many young people.
  • Written exams are not appropriate for assessing whether the skills, knowledge and experience have been acquired in many technical areas, particularly those that focus on practical skills.

Read more Good vocational qualifications are needed, but Government’s T-level plans are flawed

Are T-levels a non-starter? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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