T Level providers to benefit from £110 million boost

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T Level providers across the country will benefit from a multi-million pound package of support to ensure they are ready to deliver the pioneering new courses, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced today (Friday 7 February).

The government is investing up to £95 million through the T Level Capital Fund so young people taking the new technical qualifications from 2021 will have access to industry standard equipment and high-quality facilities. The fund will be delivered in two parts – from today, eligible providers can bid for funding to refurbish existing buildings or create new spaces, while funding for specialist equipment such as digital and audio-visual kit, will be allocated to all providers in Spring next year.

Following a successful first phase, the government is also announcing the expansion of its innovative T Level Professional Development (TLPD), worth £15 million in 2020-21. The programme – which is being delivered by the Education and Training Foundation – provides tailored training and support to boost FE teachers and leader’s skills, industry knowledge and expertise for students to benefit from.

TLPD was first launched in spring 2019 and has already supported thousands of teachers, managers, support staff and governors. The expansion will build on this success by delivering more training to an increased number of providers and across a wider range of T Level subject areas.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said:

T Levels will play a vital role in our drive to unlock talent and level up skills across the country.

This cash injection will make sure more T Level providers and their staff are ready to teach the new qualifications, so young people have access to the high-quality teaching, first class facilities and industry standard equipment they need to succeed.

T Levels are high-quality technical alternatives to A Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement to give students the skills they need to secure a great career and that will provide employers with the skilled workforce they need. The first T Levels in Childcare and Education, Construction and Digital will be first taught from September 2020, with a further seven available from 2021.The remaining 15 T Levels will be launched in 2022 and 2023.

The government has already invested £38 million through the T Level Capital Fund to support post-16 providers to be ready to deliver first three T Levels from this September. Providers including Barnsley College received £2.25 million to improve their SciTech Campus building and create a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH). Exeter College also received £2.5 million to help create a number of new facilities, including a dedicated space for students taking the Construction T Level.

David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said:

The advent of the first T Levels in September is a major milestone heralding the government’s intention to invest in the prestige and quality of technical education. It is crucial that professionals teaching the new qualifications are excellently equipped to do so from the very first day learners walk through the doors.

As England’s expert body for professional development in post-16 education, the ETF is delighted to have secured this very significant contract. We are excited about working with teachers, trainers and leaders to meet their T Level professional development needs over the coming years. The partnership approach that we have previously taken on T Levels will continue, and we look forward to delivering this support in the wider context of investment in the professional development of those delivering Further and Technical Education and Training in England.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:

I am delighted that the Department for Education has extended T Level Professional Development. It will provide invaluable support to teaching staff and managers as they adapt their skills and knowledge to delivering T Levels from September 2020.

Workforce support, development and networking/collaboration are key to the success of T Levels. The AoC is pleased to be working with the ETF to ensure the sector receives the support it needs.

John Laramy, Principal and Chief Executive of Exeter College said:

At Exeter College, we are absolutely delighted to work with the ETF, providers and individuals to support the development of professional practice for technical education. As the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL) noted, outstanding, dual qualified staff (both teachers and industry professionals) are critical to the successful delivery of exceptional technical education. We hope that this programme can help colleagues from across the sector to embrace the new opportunities that T Levels will bring.

The success of T Levels is fundamentally linked to the quality of staff who teach, assess and lead the provision; so it is fantastic that the Department for Education have provided continuing investment in professional development. As a College, we are passionate about T Levels and technical education, so we are very pleased to be able to support the revolution of technical education in England.

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