Parents: Should my child do a T-level after their GCSEs?

As sure as night follows day, your child will have barely started Year 11 and every conversation seems to start or end with: ‘But, what ARE you going to do after your GCSEs?’ For more and more young people, the option of doing a T-level qualification is on offer and with 16 to choose from in September 2022,  it could well be the perfect opportunity for your child. But how much do you know about T-levels?

Earlier this year we caught up with T-level student Milli and her mum Rowen to talk about Milli's experience of her T-level and the 45-day Industry Placement that forms part of the qualification. You can watch their video below. The Industry Placement is a key aspect of T-levels that sets them apart from other post-GCSEs options. Listening to Rowen, her pride in how impressed the employers at Milli’s Industry Placement are is clear. Rowen admits she was unsure about her daughter starting a qualification she didn’t know that much about but quickly realised it was a unique opportunity for Milli who clearly gained new skills and confidence during this valuable real-word experience.

If you want to do a T-level and you want to experience something you are interested in doing, there is no experience like experience. My advice would be to get stuck in and get on with it!
Andrew Dorree, BAM Nuttall, (a large civil-engineering and construction employer that offers Industry Placements)

Watch mum Rowen and her daughter Milli talk about Milli’s experience of her first year of T-levels.

Exam years are a stressful time for everyone in a family and with the last couple of school years being marked by so much worry and upheaval, it’s natural that you want to make sure that whatever your child does next gives them a chance to thrive. We have tried to answer some of the most common questions about T-levels below.

What are T-levels?

T-levels are a new type of qualification available to study after GCSEs. One T-level is worth the equivalent of three separate A-levels and takes the same amount of time to complete – two years. T-levels are career focused and have been developed by panels of education specialists and employers so that your child can embark straight onto skilled employment upon completion. If your child has an interest or rough idea about the sort of industry they would like to work in one day, a T-level offers a great balance of around 80% of their learning time in the classroom, and 20% (around 45 days) working in the real world on an industry placement with an employer. The school or college offering the T-level will find the Industry Placement for your child.

If your child decides they want to continue to study full time after their T-level, they can - one T-level carries the same UCAS weighting as 3 A-levels. There are also new Higher Technical Qualifications being approved in tandem with T-levels so the opportunity for your child to become increasingly specialised in an industry they are interested in is open to them upon completion of their T-level.

What would my child need to start a T-level?

As with A-levels, each school and college will have their own criteria (usually GCSE results) to be allowed to study a T-level at their institution. Your child is likely to be expected to have achieved at least a Grade 4 in GCSE in English and Maths. It’s always best to confirm directly with the school or college your child is interested in doing their T-level at to find out what their criteria is.

Click here to find out where your nearest school or college offering a T-level is.

What if my child isn't quite ready for a T-level?

If your child isn't quite ready to start a T-level straight after their GCSEs, or they would perhaps benefit from some support in building the skills and confidence to take on a full T-level, the one-year T-level Transition Programme has been developed. It provides introductory technical skills development relevant to the industry that your child is interested in as well as broader personal development support. The Transition Programme also offers time with an employer (15 days), in addition to dedicated support to achieving the necessary standards in numeracy and literacy.

Click here to find out where your nearest school or college offering a T-level is and whether they offer the one-year T-level Transition Programme.

Other Resources

There are plenty of resources out there if you want more information and support to help your child with these big decisions. Some useful places to visit include:

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