T-Levels: Information for Parents

T-Levels: Information for Parents

T Levels are new courses that will follow on from GCSEs and are the equivalent of gaining three A- Levels. They combine classroom learning with practical learning, allowing students to take an extended industry placement, with programmes designed in partnership with leading employers and businesses. A T Level would be appropriate for students who prefer a practical approach to learning, but still want to remain predominantly in the classroom and want to work towards a skilled occupation.

They sit alongside A levels and apprenticeships and other vocational L3 courses not provided in a T Level, to provide the post GCSE choice.

When will they begin?

You’ll start to hear a lot about T Levels as delivery began in September 2020. However, HoW College will be delivering specific T Levels from September 2021.

How are T-Levels different to other post-16 options?

T Levels will become one of the main choices for students after GCSE alongside:

  • Apprenticeships for students who wish to learn a specific occupation ‘on the job’
  • A levels for students who wish to continue academic education
  • Vocational courses available in a certain subject areas

Why T Levels?

The T Level or Technical Level has been developed in conjunction with over 200 businesses to address the skills gap and boost economic productivity. Developing a skilled home-grown workforce is more important than ever and T Levels will play a key role in this.

There is currently a large array of technical and vocational qualifications available which can be confusing for students and employers. Reforms to technical education aim to streamline the qualifications available, simplifying the landscape for parents, students, teachers and employers.

T Levels aim to raise the prestige of technical education, which has often been seen as second best to the academic option. Designed by employers and with longer teaching hours and a substantial industry placement, these high-quality qualifications will ensure students have the skills and knowledge businesses are looking for.

How are T-Levels being developed?

Employers and providers are working together to develop each T Level, with support from Department for Education (DfE) and the Institute. Groups of employers define the skills and requirements for each T Level course by participating in T Level panels. This ensures that students taking T Levels will develop the technical knowledge and skills required by employers in that industry.

How are they different?

A unique part of a T Level is the time students spend on an industry placement (minimum of 315 hours/ around 45 days) or around 20% of their course. This gives students an invaluable opportunity to put their new knowledge and skills into practice and understand the world of work.

Placements differ from traditional work experience as they are significantly longer, and students are expected to complete meaningful work for the employer. Individual employers and the college agree how the placement will work – whether as a block of time, a series of day releases or a combination of both.

Students are not typically paid for their placement.

How are T-Levels structured?

  • T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:
  • A technical qualification, which will include: core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
  • Specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
  • An industry placement with an employer
  • A minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them

What will the final t-level qualification look like?

Students who complete their T level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. They will get a nationally recognised certificate which will show their overall grade and a breakdown of what they have achieved.

The T Level certificate will include:

  • An overall grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*
  • A separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
  • A separate grade for each occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction
  • It will also include confirmation that the student has:
  • Met the minimum requirements for maths and English qualifications
  • Completed the industry placement
  • Met any additional mandatory requirements

A student’s overall T Level grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component and the occupational specialism(s).

Students who do not pass all elements of their T Level will get a T Level statement of achievement which will show the elements they have completed.

Which T Levels will be available at Heart of Worcestershire College in September 2021?

The first two T Levels to be available will be:

  • Childcare and Education
  • Digital, Design and Production
  • Digital Support Services 

What progression opportunities will be available?

T Levels will provide several progression options to students. These include skilled employment, an apprenticeship and higher education.

Does a T Level gain UCAS points?

T Levels are worth UCAS points. If your child gets a T Level Distinction*, this is the same as three A Levels at A*!

T Levels are recognised by universities, so your young person can progress onto higher level study, should they wish.

UCAS points will only be allocated to the overall T Level grade. Students must achieve at least an overall pass grade to receive UCAS points.

Further information regarding T-Levels can be found on the HM Government T Levels website.

What are the advantages to T Levels?

T levels are a response to a changing careers landscape, and will provide a clear path to employment for students who will benefit more from technical rather than academic post-GCSE study. If implemented successfully, the technical training will have a positive impact on the workforce in many areas, which in turn provides employment stability for young people leaving education and helps to improve the economy. Sixteen year-olds will also have more study choices than ever before.

What happens after T Levels?

Successful students will take part in an assessed work placement, before going on to either a level 4 or 5 technical education programme, a degree apprenticeship or a higher apprenticeship.

How do T Levels compare to A levels?

If your child is seeking to enter higher education following the successful completion of their T level, they can do so. UCAS tariff points show the equivalence, and also demonstrate how a T level equates to students who have taken A-levels instead.

UCAS tariff points

T Level overall grade

A level


Distinction* (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)









Pass (C or above on the core)



Pass (D or E on the core)