Rishi Sunak announces plan to scrap A and T Levels for new Advanced British Standard in England
T Levels are to be scrapped under radical plans highlighted by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party Conference.
Along with A Levels, both would be scrapped to make way for a new Advanced British Standard (ASB) in England, similar to the international Baccalaureate. The plan would see students able to combine both academic and vocational elements, for example with three major and two minor areas. It would also include maths and English up to the age of 18.
The new ASB would be likely to be rolled out in 2033-34, rather than immediately. However, the T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy, which had been due to launch in September this year as a new vocational qualification for 16 to 19-year-olds, has already been deferred until “at least 2024” over quality concerns. This latest news will again call into question how the T Level will help an industry that is desperate to boost recruitment, especially among young people.
Caroline Larissey, director of quality & standards at the NHBF, admitted the organisation wasn’t “totally surprised to hear” the news, but that it was “sadden by the timing as a huge amount of time and public funding have been used to implement the T-Levels so far”.
She added that the hairdressing and barbering industries remained sceptical about the planned introduction of the T-level in September 2024. “Whilst employers from salons and barbershops will always prefer those prospective employees enter the sector via a “job ready” route or qualification, such as an apprenticeship, we do recognise that there is not the capacity within the sector for this to be the only route into employment,” she said.
She added: “It is vital that the sector works together with Government to ensure we get it right to safeguard a pipeline of talent, built on robust training and education, to meet the needs of salons and barbershop businesses in the future.”