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AoC responds to DfE level 2 reforms announcement

20 April 2023

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Responding to the Department for Education's reform proposals to level 2 qualifications, Catherine Sezen, Education Director at the Association of Colleges said: “It is vital students have clear progression pathways, but these proposals risk creating more complexity for students and employers in an already confusing landscape.

“When they start their studies aged 16, a lot of students are unclear if they want to get a job or continue in education after college, let alone at an even younger age when they might be faced with making such course choices. Having separate qualifications based on fixed academic, technical or employment routes could mean many get stuck down the wrong path with nowhere to go.

“It is also simply not viable for a college to run such a multiplicity of courses with many likely to be forced to take a utilitarian approach, going with what benefits the majority and leaving some students with less choice.

“The students starting in 2025, when these courses are proposed to go live, were in year 7 and 8 when the pandemic hit. They are going to need additional support as they prepare for the world of work or further education and it would be far better to concentrate on Covid catch up instead.

“Rather than tinkering around the edges with confusing qualification reforms, the department should focus on the study programme as a whole, by supporting students to enhance their employability skills, boosting enrichment activities and contextualising English and maths, something the Prime Minister has indicated he is keen on.”