Commenting on the latest report on T Level qualifications from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“NFER is right that there has to be a concerted effort to raise awareness about the new T Level awards, particularly around the uncertainty about progression routes. Policymakers need to provide more clarity on the progression from T Levels to university and to Level 4 apprenticeships. If Russell Group universities won’t accept students with T Levels, then the idea of parity will never be more than a pipedream.

“The grading of the award continues to be confusing, with E-A* grades proposed for the core and Pass, Merit, Distinction for the specialist components, is confusing and conflates General Qualifications grading with BTEC style grading. This will not help learners, parents, universities or employers.

“Work experience is a key part of the T levels, but difficulties around the length of time needed, the employers willing and able to offer work placements, and student safety in workplaces involved in construction, hospitals etc have still not been resolved

“Last year the Permanent Secretary asked for a delay of a year for implementation. This was declined by the then Secretary of State, Damian Hinds. The first tranche of T Levels will be rolled out in September 2020. The Secretary of State should have listened to the civil servants – the T Level implementation should be delayed until the many wrinkles are ironed out.”