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#ProtectStudentChoice – BTEC qualifications

#ProtectStudentChoice – BTEC qualifications

It is a big week for the #ProtectStudentChoice campaign, as the Skills Bill which affects BTEC qualifications is debated in the Commons for the first time. Read more about this below and see what you can do to get involved.



Young people in England can currently choose between three types of Level 3 qualification at the age of 16: academic qualifications such as A levels, technical qualifications that lead to a specific occupation, and applied general qualifications such as BTECs that combine the development of practical skills with academic learning.

In July 2021, the Department for Education confirmed plans to replace this three-route model with a two-route model of A levels and T levels (a new suite of technical qualifications), where most young people pursue one of these qualifications at the age of 16. As a result, funding for the majority of BTEC qualifications will be removed. 

The #ProtectStudentChoice campaign coalition of 24 organisations that represent and support staff and students in schools, colleges and universities is deeply concerned about this plan.  It is far too simplistic, and many young people will continue to be better served studying a BTEC rather than an A level or T level-only study programme. The shared priority is to #ProtectStudentChoice by ensuring that AGQs continue to play a major role in the future qualifications landscape.

How to get involved: there are lots of ways to get involved, for example:

  • Sign the petition on the Parliament website
  • Write to your local MPs to secure their support for the campaign (a full list of MPs is here and a template letter is here)
  • Tweet support for the campaign using the logo and #protectstudentchoice