Consultation announced to streamline post-16 qualifications

As reported by The Guardian, the government has announced plans to streamline post-16 qualifications by launching a consultation discovering whether they are fit for purpose

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, has announced that the government will launch a consultation to review post-16 qualifications and whether they are fit for purpose.

The aim is that low-quality courses will be scrapped in favour of those that successfully equip young people for higher education or employment.

There are currently around 12,000 post-16 qualifications available – in addition to A-levels and T-levels – and many overlap, causing confusion. Hence the government’s desire to streamline them.

The consultation will review the post-16 qualification landscape (excluding mainstream A and T-keveks) to discover what works best.

Hinds said A-levels and T-levels are the “gold standard choice” for young people after GCSEs.

“But we also want to make sure that all options available to students are high-quality and give them the skills they need to get a great job, go on to further education or training, and employers can be confident they can access the workforce they need for the future,” he said.

“We can’t legislate for parity of esteem between academic and technical routes post-16. But we can improve the quality of the options out there and by raising quality, more students and parents will trust these routes.”

The Association of Colleges welcomed the announcement. Senior policy manager, Catherine Sezen, said: “It is crucial that there are study programmes and qualifications which meet the needs of all students as well as those of business and the economy. The review kickstarts this important conversation.”

Matthew Fell, the chief UK policy director of business body the CBI, added: “Young people need clear, high-quality and easy-to-understand options at 16 – whether that’s A-levels, new T-levels, or doing an apprenticeship.

“Each route is valued by employers, but it can sometimes be difficult to understand the difference between the thousands of qualifications and different grading systems out there.”

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