Our T Level resources to support vocational education in England

You can now access classroom resources created by us for the T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development. T Levels are a type of vocational qualification young people in England can gain after leaving school, and we are pleased to be able to support T Level teachers and students.

A teenager learning computer science.

With our new resources, we aim to empower more young people to develop their digital skills and confidence while studying, meaning they can access more jobs and opportunities for further study once they finish their T Levels.

We worked collaboratively with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation on this pilot project as part of their Technical Education Networks Programme, the first time that we have created classroom resources for post-16 vocational education.

Post-16 vocational training and T Levels

T Levels are Technical Levels, 2-year courses for 16- to 18-year-old school leavers. Launched in England in September 2020, T Levels cover a range of subjects and have been developed in collaboration with employers, education providers, and other organisations. The aim is for T Levels to specifically prepare young people for entry into skilled employment, an apprenticeship, or related technical study in further or higher education.

A group of young people in a lecture hall.

For us, this T Level pilot project follows on from work we did in 2022 to learn more about post-16 vocational training and identify gaps where we could make a difference. 

Something interesting we found was the relatively low number of school-age young people who started apprenticeships in the UK in 2019/20. For example, a 2021 Worldskills UK report stated that only 18% of apprentices were young people aged 19 and under. 39% were aged 19-24, and the remaining 43% were people aged 25 and over.

To hear from young people about their thoughts directly, we spoke to a group of year 10 students (ages 14 to 15) at Gladesmore School in Tottenham. Two thirds of these students said that digital skills were ‘very important’ to them, and that they would consider applying for a digital apprenticeship or T Level. When we asked them why, one of the key reasons they gave was the opportunity to work and earn money, rather than moving into further study in higher education and paying tuition fees. One student’s answer was for example, “It’s a good way to learn new skills while getting paid, and also gives effective work experience.”

T Level curriculum materials and project brief

To support teachers in delivering the Digital Production, Design and Development T Level qualification, we created a new set of resources: curriculum materials as well a project brief with examples to support the Occupational Specialism component of the qualification. 

A girl in a university computing classroom.

The curriculum materials on the topic ‘Digital environments’ cover content related to computer systems including hardware, software, networks, and cloud environments. They are designed for teachers to use in the classroom and consist of a complete unit of work: lesson plans, slide decks, activities, a progression chart, and assessment materials. The materials are designed in line with our computing content framework and pedagogy principles, on which the whole of our Computing Curriculum is based.

The project brief is a real-world scenario related to our work and gives students the opportunity to problem-solve as though they are working in an industry job.

Access the T Level resources

The T Level project brief materials are available for download now, with the T Level classroom materials coming in the next few weeks.

We hope T Level teachers and students find the resources useful and interesting — if you’re using them, please let us know your thoughts and feedback.

Our thanks to the Gatsby Foundation for collaborating with us on this work to empower more young people to fulfil their potential through the power of computing and digital technologies.

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