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The Department for Education (DfE) is continuing its review of qualifications at level 3 and below and has now published a call for evidence for study at level 2 and below, as well as launching a consultation on level 3 qualifications.

Gateway Qualifications strongly encourages Centres and individuals to respond to these as the outcomes will affect which qualifications are eligible for public funding in the future.

Call for evidence level 2 and below

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a call for evidence of post 16 study at level 2 and below.

This call for evidence is part of the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England.  The DfE wishes to improve study at level 2 and below to ensure that students have clear and coherent pathways to good outcomes.

Before they set out detailed proposals, the DfE wishes to know more about:

  • what is working well
  • what more can be done to support students studying at level 2 and below

This call for evidence brings together the range of issues the DfE wants to explore, inviting views from all who are involved in post 16 education at level 2 and below including those who deliver English, maths, ESOL, employability  and personal and social development

Some questions are addressed to employers, others to a wider audience including all education providers.

We would encourage providers to respond to the call for evidence to ensure that the evidence provided is as broad as possible and includes many examples of effective practice.  Responses to the call for evidence should be received by 31 January 2021.

The call for evidence includes questions such as.

  • Would a new form of transition programme be the best way to support progression for 16 to 19 year olds who want to study at level 3 but are not quite ready to progress and do not plan to take a T Level? If not, please suggest an alternative approach.
  • What evidence can you provide of existing effective practice in the design of level 2 classroom-based study and qualifications to support students to enter employment? Please specify if your examples support students into apprenticeships or other job roles.
  • Does level 2 study play a role in supporting adults in employment to progress to level 3 qualifications?
  • How do providers define good outcomes for 16 to 19 year olds studying at level 1? Which features are most effective in achieving these good outcomes?
  • How do providers deliver personal, social and employability skills to adults? Is a qualification essential for this?
  • Which students are GCSEs and FSQs not appropriate for, and why? What are the most effective features of alternative English and maths qualifications?
  • What is the benefit to having three sub-levels at entry level?
  • How do providers deliver introductory vocational level 1 and entry level skills to adults? Is a qualification essential for this?
  • Are ESOL qualifications at levels 1 and 2 necessary? If yes, what role do they play?
  • What needs to be retained or improved in the current level 2 and below offer to ensure that providers can accommodate the needs of i) 16 to 19 year olds with SEND and ii) adults with learning difficulties or disabilities?

Consultation on Level 3 Qualifications

The Department for Education (DfE)  has recently launched a consultation on level 3 qualifications. This consultation seeks views as to which level 3 qualifications should continue to be funded alongside A levels and T levels.  It also asks a number of questions about what provision at level 3 should look like for adults.

The results of this consultation will inform decisions on which qualifications and qualification types at level 3 will be eligible for funding for 16-19 and adults in the future.

Gateway Qualifications would strongly encourage Centres and individuals to respond, which you can do by completing the online questionnaire. The consultation closes on 15th January 2021.