Govt reveals list of level 3 courses set to have funding withdrawn

160 level 3 courses feature on the provisional list, far fewer than the DfE originally proposed

The government has published the provisional list of level 3 courses that will have funding withdrawn in favour of the shift towards T-levels.

One hundred and sixty courses deemed to overlap with T-levels will cease to be funded from August 2024, equating to eight percent of more than 2,000 level-three applied general qualifications.

There are currently 66,000 enrolments on the courses affected, according to the Department for Education’s equality impact assessment, of which 27% are students deemed to be the “most disadvantaged”.

Thirty-eight Btecs feature on the list, in areas including engineering, health and social care, computer science, business information systems, and children’s play, learning and development.

The number is in line with last month’s announcement by the education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, that “significantly less than half” of level 3 qualifications would see their funding cut.

And it is a long way from the original plan by Zahawi’s predecessor, Gavin Williamson, to effectively cull Btecs altogether.

His original proposal was scorned by people from across the political spectrum – former Conservative education secretary, Kenneth Baker, labelled it “an act of vandalism” – and prompted the founding of the Protect Student Choice coalition, comprising a number of educational organisations and representative bodies, coordinated by the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA).

Read more: Zahawi delays Btec cull until 2024

“The Protect Student Choice coalition is grateful to the cross-party group of peers who have worked tirelessly to support the campaign in the House of Lords, and to the students, staff, parents and MPs who have also made an enormous contribution,” said James Kewin, deputy chief executive of the SFCA, when Zahawi first announced the reduction in the number of courses due to have their funding cut.

“Today’s news will be welcomed across the education world, and will be reassuring for both young people and employers.”

Skills minister, Alex Burghart, said that the provisional list would give young people a “clear path and understanding of the qualifications and training routes that will lead to great careers.

“Retiring qualifications that overlap with new, more rigorous qualifications has long been standard practice with academic qualifications and will help end the confusion and complexity we know puts some young people off studying technical options.”

The final list of courses to have funding withdrawn will be published in September. Awarding organisations can submit appeals regarding the inclusion of their qualifications on the list until 8 July.

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