Yesterday I challenged the new Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi on plans to end funding for most BTEC courses, which has caused widespread concern across the education sector and led to a campaign to #ProtectStudentChoice. I raised my concern in a debate on the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill which was being debated in the Commons for the first time, having started in the Lords where the BTEC proposals received cross-party criticism.
Currently young people in England can choose between three types of post-16 Level 3 qualifications – A levels, technical qualifications that lead to a specific occupation, and qualifications such as BTECs that combine practical skills and academic learning. The Government’s plans are for a more binary choice between A-levels and the new T-levels, which I am concerned limits opportunities.
After our exchange the Education Secretary announced a delay in withdrawing the funding until 2024, but I don’t believe that goes far enough.
Read our exchange here.