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Nurses: Training

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL1746, tabled on 13 July 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of their decision to terminate the BTEC qualification in Health and Social Care on the numbers of students applying for courses to qualify as nurses; and what percentage of students starting nursing courses in each of the last three years have achieved this qualification.

Answered on

27 July 2022

The department has been clear that it will continue to fund some BTEC courses and other qualifications in future where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that A levels and T Levels cannot provide, and where they meet new quality standards. The government intends to fund small academic qualifications that should typically be taken alongside A levels in priority areas such as STEM subjects, and in areas where an A level is not available, such as health and social care. We will set out the full approval criteria in the autumn.

The department is reforming the system to ensure all qualifications approved for funding are high quality, have a clear purpose, and deliver great outcomes. T Levels have been developed with over 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. The Health T Level will help raise awareness amongst young people of the occupational choices within the healthcare sector and provide an opportunity for employers to strengthen their engagement with local schools and colleges. In addition, the Health T Level will provide a pipeline of young talent who may move into Trainee Nursing Associate and Assistant Health Practitioner roles, later progressing to the registered occupations.

As a department, we don’t hold the data on the percentage of students starting nursing courses in each of the last three years.