The National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) submitted evidence to the Education Select Committee on the future of post-16 qualifications. This evidence was the result of a major UK wide consultation with our members and has now been published on the Government website.
As a result of our consultation our submission highlights the following key findings:
- T levels are only providing progression to a very limited number of HE courses and are not universally accepted by the HE sector;
- The demands of T levels leave little time for other studies or activities. This is narrowing opportunities for learners as they are unable to study additional qualifications or take part in information, advice and guidance activities;
- There is a regional disparity in the availability of A levels, particularly in those regions where the majority of 16-19 education is delivered through the FE sector. Any removal of funding for BTECs will severely limit the opportunities of learners living in these areas;
- BTECs are well established and are widely accepted onto a broad range of undergraduate level courses by the majority of the HE sector, either as a sole qualification or in combination with A levels. They have been a key factor in widening access to HE;
- The government’s suggested level 3 reforms will damage the progress that has been made in widening access to HE and impact disproportionately upon disadvantaged groups.
In summary we argue that we need a 16-19 curriculum that enables broad progression routes, both for employment and further study and gives learners a range of skills that will prepare them for their future lives and careers.