Government must think again on post-16 education

Community has welcomed a report from the Commons Education Committee that calls on the government to “pause” its “post-16 education shake-up or risk making the skills shortages worse”.

The Education Committee’s report urges the government to halt plans to stop funding courses such as BTECS before new T levels are ready to replace them.

Helen Osgood, Community’s National Officer for Education & Early Years, said:

“We welcome this report. We believe that BTECs and other vocational qualifications should continue to be offered until T Levels have been proven to be robust alternatives.

“BTECS are long-standing qualifications that are widely understood and valued by both the education sector and business.

“T Levels, however, are untested and unknown in vast swathes of the country, and a premature transition to these qualifications could worsen skills shortages in key industries.

“T Levels are required to include a nine-week work placement, but two thirds of businesses are not interested in offering placements, meaning that the qualifications are being stymied before they have begun.

“T Levels are not necessarily suitable for the full range of learners and may negatively impact on those students who may have been looking to take BTECs. This is especially the case for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

“Teaching materials are not yet fully developed for T-Levels, which is placing a huge additional workload burden on staff who are currently completing BTECs whilst also preparing for first teaching of a completely different course.”

Further information

Community is the union for education and early years professionals, representing teachers, headteachers, FHE lecturers education support staff and early years staff.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.

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