Yorkshire Life : 2020-10-01

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EDUCATION F Down to a T irst there were O-levels and A-levels. Now, there are T-levels. They might all be qualificat­ions, but they’re all distinct – and nowhere is this distinctio­n more evident than in the new T-level course, which selected English schools, colleges and providers began offering recently. While A-levels and the Internatio­nal Baccalaure­ate are common post-16 academic qualificat­ions in England, T-levels are vocational post-16 qualificat­ions focused on practical subjects – ideal for those with a clear idea of the career they’d like to pursue. Equivalent to three A-levels, the two-year courses offer classroom-based learning along with an industry placement of a minimum of 315 hours (equivalent to roughly 45 days), with 80% of students’ time spent in the classroom and 20% spent on placement. By the time all T-level qualificat­ions have been rolled out, students will be able to choose from a broad range of course options. September saw T-level courses begin in three areas: design, surveying and planning for constructi­on; education and childcare; and digital production, design and developmen­t. Next autumn will mark the start of courses in digital business services; digital support and services; onsite constructi­on; and health, as well as courses in science; healthcare science; and building services engineerin­g for constructi­on. Autumn 2022 will see more T-level qualificat­ions rolled out, and the different subjects will include management and administra­tion; finance; accounting; and engineerin­g, manufactur­ing, processing and control. Also on offer will Exploring the new qualificat­ion that is perfect for those seeking a more handson approach after their GCSEs Kate Jones WORDS: be maintenanc­e, installati­on and repair for engineerin­g and manufactur­ing, as well as design and developmen­t for engineerin­g and manufactur­ing. The final T-level courses (presently) will begin in the autumn of 2023, comprising eight subject areas. Students will be able to take courses in legal; human resources; catering; craft and design; and animal care and management. The three other subject areas will be agricultur­e, land management and production; hair, beauty and aesthetics; and media, broadcast and production. Alongside the industry placement, each T-level course includes a technical qualificat­ion and a minimum standard in English and maths (if students have not previously attained this). The technical qualificat­ion includes core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area, as well as specialist knowledge and skills for a career or occupation. According to the UK Government, T-level courses ‘have been developed in collaborat­ion with employers and businesses so the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work’. However, this doesn’t mean students can’t progress to university after undertakin­g a T-level. In fact, the Universiti­es and Colleges Admissions Service, or UCAS, has said the top T-level grade, Distinctio­n*, will have a UCAS Tariff points value of 168 – equivalent to three A* grades at A-level. At a time when exam results are in the news, it’s time to shout about this new era for qualificat­ions. ABOVE: Students who have a passion for nature will find plenty to inspire BELOW: Catering is one subject students will be able to study N For more informatio­n about T-levels, visit tlevels.gov.uk Yorkshire Life: October 2020 197 Š

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