Skip to main content

BTEC Qualifications: North West

Question for Department for Education

UIN 58435, tabled on 18 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with representatives of FE colleges and providers in (a) St Helens North constituency and (b) the North West on the withdrawal of Government funding for certain BTEC qualifications.

Answered on

22 October 2021

We set out the qualifications we intend to fund alongside A levels and T Levels at level 3 in July 2021. We will continue to fund some BTECs and other Applied General qualifications (AGQs) in future, and these qualifications will continue to play an important role for 16 to 19 year olds and adults as they do now.

Whilst we want clearer, simpler choices for students, we are not moving towards a binary system of just A levels and T Levels. Students will continue to be able to study BTECs and other AGQs as part of mixed programmes alongside A levels, where they meet new quality standards and support progression to higher education, for example in areas such as engineering, applied science and IT. Students will also be able to study qualifications like BTECs as their full programme of study where there is no A level or T Level, in areas such as performing and creative arts and sports science.

T Levels are challenging qualifications developed with 250 leading employers, have significantly longer teaching hours and include a meaningful nine-week industry placement that sets them apart from many current vocational qualifications. We believe that it is the right thing to do to remove funding for technical qualifications that overlap with T Levels when they become nationally available.

The North West regional delivery team are in regular dialogue with St Helen’s College and through this discuss their curriculum and strategy. As part of the Annual Strategic Conversations, they are having with all FE Colleges, they pick up any key strategic risks and issues, as well as opportunities and strengths. These have not yet been held with St Helen’s or Carmel Colleges, but both are likely to take place early in 2022.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.