Don't scrap BTEC

Earlier this month, the Department for Education confirmed plans to introduce a twin-track system of A levels and T levels (a new suite of technical qualifications), where most young people pursue one of these qualifications at the age of 16. As a result, funding for most BTEC and other Applied General Qualifications will be removed.

The Department set out its plans following a review of post-16 qualifications at Level 3, despite 86% of respondents disagreeing with the proposals.

In their letter to the Education Secretary, the twelve organisations in the #ProtectStudentChoice campaign say the review ignored the widespread concerns expressed about scrapping BTEC and other Applied General Qualifications and that “Many young people will be adversely affected by this proposal, but disadvantaged students have the most to lose, a conclusion that your Department’s own equalities impact assessment supports”.

We have said that furthering this proposal for a binary offer for students pathways at level 3 in the future is ill conceived and dangerous. Applied General Qualifications like BTECs or Cam Techs are tried and tested qualifications which provide a pathway, for disadvantaged students into employment or higher education. The T level qualifications are new and untested and should not be one of only two options available for students, there must be a third way. 


New guidance for members in post-16 colleges about how to reduce workload and reclaim their professional lives.

Post-16 workload

Reducing accountability workload in your workplace.

Advice and guidance

  • Diverse adult college students using computer together
    Sixth form colleges

    Specific advice for members about pay and conditions in sixth form colleges (the Red Book) and information about our campaigns in the sector.

  • Advice school stairs in a modern building
    Employment rights in the further education sector

    Details of your statutory rights as an employee in the Further education sector. In some cases your contract will provide you with better terms and conditions and, if this is the case, those better terms and conditions will apply.

  • Money
    Further Education pay

    Details of the joint trade unions pay claim and pay scales for members working in the further education sector.

Latest news

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    Further Education funding

    The system is broken. Colleges are financially struggling, with staff numbers decimated. We need money for staff: parity with schools would require a £7000 pay catch-up for FE college teachers. 

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    Post 16 colleges funding in Wales

    Years of underfunding have seen the post 16 sector in Wales suffer from restructuring. It is sad to hear members’ experiences which suggest they are not valued.”

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    Post-16 colleges

    Commenting on the passing of Motion 36 at the Annual Conference of the National Education Union, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “NEU members are calling on politicians and the public to recognise the weakened and fragmented state of the post-16 sector.

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    Further education bodies call for Budget investment

    In a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ten bodies representing further education staff, students and providers have called for extra funding to ensure a “stable and well-resourced further education sector” which can meet different needs and ambitions.