Delay to BTEC defunding announced in first Commons Skills Bill reading

16 Nov 2021

Responding to the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi's speech on the second reading of the Skills Billl and the announcement to delay the defunding of BTECs, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said:

"Today’s announcement from the Secretary of State shows he has been listening and examining the evidence, which I am pleased about. We have consistently pointed out the risks that defunding BTECs and the English and maths requirement of T levels posed to disadvantaged students. We warned that it was too soon to be removing pathways and choices for young people when the new T levels were in their infancy and that it risked leaving learners with no accessible qualifications to study for.
Delaying defunding gives more time for greater evaluation of T levels and how they work in the new landscape of qualifications. I want all pathways, including T levels to be a success and to be as accessible to as many students as possible. Removing the English and maths GCSE exit requirement in all T levels and the extra flexibilities on industry placements announced last week will open up these new qualifications to many more students.
There is still a long road ahead to ensure the Skills Bill has the impact on employers, communities and people that we want to see. Today, though, is a really good step, and indication the government is listening to us, and those peers in the House of Lords who tabled and passed amendments in the House of Lords about these issues.”