Improving the quality and status of technical education options in this country is a laudable aim. Giving young people who don’t want to study for academic qualifications routes that keep them learning and improve their skills and employability in an engaging way is something that other countries do better than us at the moment.
This is where the new T-Levels that are now being developed come in.
But trying to understand the complexities of the Education and Childcare T-Level, one of the first three to be rolled out in 2020, is quite a severe examination of brain power in itself!
It is not so much the make up and content of the qualification, more the relationship of the T-Level to early years and childcare apprenticeships and the Early Years Educator Level 3 qualification. There is the trailblazer group working on the standards for the apprenticeships; there is a Childcare and Education Panel run by the Institute for Apprenticeships that will scrutinise the apprenticeship standards; and there is the T-Level panel currently overseen by the Department for Education, although T-Levels will eventually come under the IfA’s remit. All these interrelate and have elements in common, but it seems to be a much more complicated position than for other sectors.
Added to that are concerns reported on in our story (page 10) that the T-Level may not confer a licence to practice on those who gain it (not an issue for many industries) if the work placements and assessments do not meet the EYE criteria.
The early years sector is currently groaning under a recruitment crisis - it is vitally important that any changes in the qualifications system do not put further barriers in the way of young people taking up this career fit and ready to practice.