Last Summer more than 230,000 students from across the country achieved a Level 3 BTEC qualification, helping prepare them for a range of career options.
Today (18 July), MPs will debate in the House of Commons about the merits of the BTEC qualification and whether the government’s decision to scrap this qualification should go ahead.
Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley is backing calls from petitioners and students in her own constituency to stop the government cutting funding for this qualification, and to even scrap the qualification in favour of a T-Levels qualification – which is still unproven.
Students from Meadowhead School Academy Trust have contacted Louise to ask her to speak out against this cut. They said:
“We were shocked, disappointed and concerned to hear about the government’s plans to stop funding for BTEC level 3 qualifications. Many students study these qualifications at our school which not only allow them to explore areas of interest, such as Sport and Performing Arts, but also support students with university applications.
“Previous students have gone on to study a range of academic subjects, such as Nursing and Occupational Therapy, with these qualifications, indicating that universities see their value; this makes it all the more disappointing that the current government does not. We’re concerned that the move to discontinue BTECs would devalue the qualifications some of us are currently studying, and that students in the past have worked so hard on to achieve.”
Louise Haigh MP, said:
“I have seen first-hand the transformational impact the BTEC Level 3 qualification has for young people in Sheffield. They provide students with option who may not have done so well earlier in school and help prepare them for the world of work.
“Despite the value that students, employers and universities place on this qualification, this government is determined to put barriers in the way for students to achieve their full potential.”
Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said:
“Vocational qualifications provide a life transforming opportunity for students to go further in their education and training, and progress at the level that is right for them.
“Crucially, these qualifications contribute to social mobility. The majority of our students study vocational qualifications, which include BTECs.
“A significant number of our students achieve a Level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to A Levels and enables them to go to university if they wish.
“Whilst we welcome the introduction of the new technical T Level qualifications as an additional option, they are not suitable for all of our vocational students.
“There must be alternatives. It is vital that a wide range of vocational qualifications continue to be offered to protect student choice and to provide an inclusive learning experience with opportunities for young people to move up the qualification levels and at a pace that is right for them.”