T Levels are go

The much-awaited T Level consultation response arrived over the late May bank holiday weekend and, after months of silence on the issue, we now have a clearer idea of the policy and how and when it will be implemented.

The development of T Level policy has been an unusual process, and a ministerial direction to stick to a 2020 implementation of the first routes was the latest extraordinary twist. Jonathan Slater, the Department for Education (DfE) Permanent Secretary, wrote to Damian Green to request a delay to T Level implementation. The fact that the Education Secretary insisted on sticking to the timeline for implementation is now a matter of public record, and the pressure for the first 3 routes to succeed is greater than ever.

The consultation response itself was a long document, and whilst we did learn some new details, it seems the DfE will largely proceed as proposed.

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) released outline content for the first T Levels, alongside yet another consultation. After an initially giving everyone a week to respond (over half term), the deadline for responses has been extended twice and is now 29 June 2018.

The DfE has also started engaging Awarding Organisations (AOs) in relation to the tender process, as a single AO will deliver T Levels for each route (or part of a route).

Timescales are challenging, and there are a lot of details still to be worked out. We owe it to the first T Level learners, currently coming to the end of year 9, to get things right. We’ll be working with government, the IFA, our partners and centres to give T Levels the best chance to succeed, despite the unusual and turbulent nature of the policy.

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