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Keegan delays four new T-levels amid quality concerns

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has delayed the launch of four T-levels (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Gavin Cordon, PA Whitehall Editor

The launch of four new T-levels is being delayed amid concerns about the quality of the qualifications on offer, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has announced.

Ms Keegan said the introduction of T-levels in hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy; craft and design; and media, broadcast and production is being put back from 2023 to 2024.

A new catering T-level is to be deferred “beyond 2024” to allow time to consult with employers to ensure it meets all the needs of the sector.

In a Commons written statement, Ms Keegan said the decision had been taken in conjunction with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and the exams regulator Ofqual.

“I am determined that we protect the quality of T-levels to ensure that they continue to lead to great outcomes for all students,” she said.

“T-level technical qualifications will only be approved for delivery where we are sure they are good enough and can be delivered to a high standard.”

T-levels were first launched in 2020 in England as a technical alternative to A-levels for post-16 students.

The Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes said that while the Government was right to protect the quality of T-levels, the late announcement will mean colleges will be “massively disrupted”.

“Colleges already had plans in place for how to deliver these now delayed T-levels and have been marketing them to potential learners. Alternative arrangements will now need to be made urgently,” he said.

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