Today, 29 July 2021, twelve organisations that represent staff and students in schools, colleges and universities have today written to Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, urging him to retain funding for Applied General Qualifications (AGQs).
The Department for Education has confirmed plans to introduce a new system of A levels and T levels, where most young people will pursue one of these qualifications at the age of 16.
Under this system, funding for most BTEC qualifications will be removed.
In their letter to the Education Secretary, the twelve organisations in the #ProtectStudentChoice campaign argued that move ignored concerns expressed about scrapping BTECs.
The letter describes AGQs as “engines of social mobility” and argue “It is impossible to square the government’s stated ambition to ‘level up’ opportunity with the proposal to scrap most BTECs”.
The letter cites research from the Social Market Foundation that found 44% of white working-class students enter university with at least one BTEC and 37% of black students enter with only BTEC qualifications.
The letter concludes by urging the government “to rethink plans to remove funding for the vast majority of applied general qualifications and instead provide assurances that they have an important role to play alongside the equally valuable A levels and T levels in the future qualifications landscape”.
The #ProtectStudentChoice campaign has today launched a petition to reverse the plan to remove funding for BTEC qualifications. The petition can be found here.
TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has shown continued support for retaining funding for AGQs.