Commenting on a consultation about plans to reform post-16 qualifications, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"We strongly criticised the Government’s decision to de-fund Applied General Qualifications (AGQs) which include BTECs and Cam Techs at level 3. Scrapping these qualifications will massively impact disadvantaged students who for many years have used these qualifications to progress to higher education and into employment. Pinning a qualification system on a binary choice of only A Levels or the untried and untested T Levels, without that third route of AGQs, is ill-thought out and will result in thousands of students missing out on opportunities to progress and potentially the closure of FE colleges.
"The changes to Level 3 AGQs will also affect progression routes for those young people moving from level 2 into Level 3 vocational qualifications. It is to be hoped that the review of level 2 vocational qualifications is not as calamitous as the review of Level 3 vocational qualifications, which spells disaster for the education sector as a whole in terms of its offer to young people, but particularly to disadvantaged students."