Government call for evidence on level 2 and below qualifications
On 10th November the government launched a call for evidence about level 2 and below study as part of the next stage of their review of post 16 qualifications. This is the second stage in the consultation process which started in 2019 and is driven by their proposed qualifications reform.
We would urge anyone delivering qualifications at levels entry, 1 and 2 to read and respond to this consultation with evidence, including case studies where possible.
At OCN London we believe it is essential that:
- Learners at level 2 and below have access to funded qualifications that offer flexibility in size, structure, content and approaches to assessment that support an inclusive curriculum, meet diverse needs and enable progression;
- Learners at level 1 and Entry level should not be denied access to funded national, regulated qualifications, that provide evidence of and value their achievements and distance travelled;
- The value of qualifications is considered not only in terms of economics but also in relation to the personal and social benefits to the individual, their families and their communities.
The government needs to receive evidence (eg case studies) from centres that demonstrates:
- why qualifications at level 2 and below are valued and meet learner needs;
- how qualifications support learners to progress to further study or employment;
- why having a qualification has been important to learners and the impact that having a qualification has had on their lives.
What’s in the call for evidence for entry level and level 1?
- For 16-19 year olds there is a stated wish to better understand the difference between entry level and level 1 students & the study programmes that best support them.
- For adults they “are interested in hearing how providers deliver skills for employment or living most effectively, including whether it is through qualifications or non-regulated learning, so that we can better understand where qualifications are necessary and add value.” They will use the responses to shape the future position of these qualifications.
What’s in the call for evidence for level 2?
- For 16-19 year olds there is a stated intention to better support learners to access level 3. Questions include whether a ‘transition programme’ like the T Level Transition Programme should be introduced to support transition to other qualifications than T Levels.
- For all ages there is a stated intention to improve outcomes for those entering work directly from class-based study. One of the solutions they are proposing is ‘being more prescriptive about the pathways that lead to level 2 employment and aligning classroom-based study with employer-led standards’.
- For adults they “want to know more about the circumstances in which adults already in employment use level 2 for the purpose of upskilling’.
What’s in the call for evidence for students with special education needs, learning difficulties or disabilities at level 2 and below?
- The question asked is “What needs to be retained or improved in the current level 2 and below offer to ensure that providers can accommodate the needs of i) 16 to 19 year olds with SEND and ii) adults with learning difficulties or disabilities?”
The outcome of this consultation will have implications for the range of qualifications that will be available in the future to learners at level 2 and below, and we believe their voices must be heard as part of this process, whether directly or in the form of learner stories.