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T Levels - what you need to know

Published by Isbi Schools on Friday 18th of September 2020 11:59:39 AM

If your child is in their final year of secondary education, they will be beginning to look at their options for further education. T Levels have been introduced this month, and so will be an option for many teenagers taking GCSEs next summer.


What are T Levels?

The "T” in T Levels stands for "technical.” T Levels are a two-year technical course that is the equivalent to 3 A Levels. Unlike traditional A Levels, the course is 80% classroom work, and 20% on-job training in a work placement in a relevant industry. 


T Levels are an alternative to A Levels and provide more vocational skills, aiming to help students into either skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.


Each T Level includes an industry placement of at least 45 days in length. This enables students to gain valuable experience in the workplace, as well as enabling them to build relationships with potential employers.


The T Level courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that students receive training and qualifications that are relevant to their chosen industry, preparing them for work. The idea is that a T Level course will provide students with the knowledge and experience they need to get into skilled employment - or to go onto further study or a higher apprenticeship.


A T Level is an approved technical qualification providing technical knowledge and practical skill specific to the chosen industry or occupation. There are English, Maths and digital requirements too, so that other skills are kept up.  The content of the courses is based on the same standards as apprenticeships, and approved by the IfATE (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education). 


Who are T Levels for?

T Levels are for students who reach the end of GCSEs and wish to take a more technical (rather than strictly academic) route through further education. Each course is equivalent to 3 A Levels, and should not be mistaken for the "easy” route; there is a lot of work involved, both in the classroom and work placement. T Levels are a high quality, work-focussed alternative to A Levels; they are worth the same number of UCAS points as 3 A Levels, so opting for T Levels does not preclude attending university.


What T Levels are available?

At present, students can take T Levels in construction, digital and education. Over the next three years the government has said a total of 24  T Level subjects will become available, covering areas as diverse as agriculture, catering, engineering and finance. A full list of subjects is available from the government website here: https://www.tlevels.gov.uk/students/subjects


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