On 23 October 2020 the DfE launched the above consultation. The consultation has very important implications for higher education.
The Government is, as UVAC has outlined in the past, moving to a position to offer three main options for 16 – 18 year-olds: A levels, T levels and Apprenticeships. This move means that post 16 technical and vocational qualifications at level 3 (e.g. Applied Generals such as BTEC and OCR Cambridge Nationals and Tech Levels) will not be funded where they ‘compete’ with A levels or T levels. The consultation focuses on which other academic and technical level 3 qualifications (other than A levels and T levels) should be funded.
Impact for HE – HEIs recruit a substantial number of students offering Applied Generals and such activity has helped widen recruitment. DfE is obviously keen to understand the position of HEIs in relation to recruitment and widening participation. We also need to outline our views on which technical level 3 qualifications support progression to higher education. We have a powerful voice. UVAC will be feeding our views to DfE, IfATE and OfS.
We are keen to hear from HEIs interested in working with us on our response to the consultation.
The consultation opened on 23 October 2020 and closes on 15 January 2021.
The first stage consultation responses are available now at review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England.