The post-16 system at Level 3 in England is undergoing major reform. In July 2021, the Government completed a Review that impacts Level 3 BTEC Nationals, Cambridge Technicals and other Level 3 vocational qualifications in England.
The review will affect 16–19-year-olds on study programmes, and 19+ year-olds funded under the Adult Education Budget, the European Social Fund (ESF), or accessing Advanced Learner Loans. The review is planned to be complete by 2026/27.
Please be reassured that you can continue to teach your BTECs with confidence in 2022/23 and 2023/24. Very few qualifications will be affected in 2024/25 (see the section below ‘What do we know so far?’ for more). The key changes will be made in 2025/26 and 2026/27.
For young people, the main proposal is to have a choice between A levels and T Levels at Level 3, where most young people pursue one of these routes at the age of 16. Alongside this the DfE recognise that there is a clear role for qualifications that can be taken as alternatives to, or taken alongside, T Levels and A levels. For adults, the same offer will be available as for 16–19-year-olds, but in the DfE recognise that a greater choice of technical qualifications will be needed for adults.
As you may be aware, the government recently confirmed that "many applied general qualifications, such as BTECs and other similar qualifications, will have a continuing and important role to play alongside A levels and T levels" and that their “aim is to ensure that students can choose from a variety of high-quality options, of which A-levels, T-levels, BTECs and other applied general-style qualifications will all play their part.”
Please view the timeline. The diagram shows when we will know more about qualifications that will no longer be available, and when we will know more about new reformed academic and technical qualifications.