T Levels – Celebrating a Year of Success at Burnley College

“This year is the first year students are coming in and asking about T Levels by name, which means they’re working. It’s an amazing sign for the future.”

National T Level Ambassador and Burnley College Sixth Form Tutor Zoe Ashton has watched these exciting new qualifications grow, and seen her students go on to great success. Now she says, it’s time to take learning to the next level.

And Zoe’s also asking business leaders to learn more about how they can partner with the College to create the workforce of the future.

This week is T Levels Celebration Week and at Burnley College there is plenty to celebrate.

T Levels are a relatively new qualification, combining expert-teaching with industry-leading work placements and are designed to develop the skills of students, combining knowledge with workplace-ready skills.

The College saw its first tranche of students completing their T Levels in Healthcare Science this year. It saw amazing stories of progression, including one alumna advancing to read Midwifery at the prestigious University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group of top universities.

Zoe is a Lecturer in Science, Health and Education at Burnley College. This year she was selected as a T Level Ambassador by the Government. Her role means she will help shape the future of T Levels as she regularly reports back to the Department for Education on strategies and successes.

With a background in midwifery and working for the NHS, Zoe is passionate about enabling her students to fulfil their career goals and sees T Levels as a real opportunity to achieve this.

Zoe says it’s an exciting time:

“Open Events are always an amazing opportunity to find out what young people know about their various options and pathways.

“This year is the first year we’ve had pupils in Year 10 and 11 come in and ask about T Levels by name.

“We’ve been working closely with schools to educate people about these qualifications, so they are much more aware of what an exciting pathway T Levels are and are ensuring their pupils know as much as they can about them before making a decision.

“We’re getting questions like ‘Where can I do my placement?’ ‘How different is a T Level from a BTEC?’ and ‘If you went back in time, would you have studied a T Level?’ – to which of course the answer is ‘Yes. Definitely.’

“More importantly, now we’ve seen the first group of students pass through the system and have witnessed real success, it means we’ve have great stories of progression to share with them.”

T Levels are Further Education technical qualifications students complete after GCSEs and are the equivalent to three A Levels.

They allow you to progress to university, degree apprenticeships or directly into employment within your chosen sector.

T levels have been developed with industry experts to expand knowledge, skills and behaviours ensuring students are able to meet the needs of industry effectively.

They offer students a mixture of classroom learning and industry experience during a workplace placement of at least 315 hours, or around 45 days. This helps students take their skills and knowledge to the next level and gain valuable sector-specific experience.

That’s where Zoe is appealing to business leaders to join her in her mission to offer even more opportunities to students:

“We’re already working really closely with the NHS Trust who really understand how beneficial these partnerships can be.

“It’s a great opportunity for business leaders to influence learning for the future to make it more relevant to their industry all while getting the opportunity to work with passionate new potential employees.”

This year Burnley College saw one of its most successful T Level students, Lucy Brotherton, a former pupil at Blessed Trinity RC College who studied T Level Healthcare Science progress to the University of Manchester to read Midwifery.

Lucy says it was the perfect pathway for her:

“I’ve always wanted to be a Midwife – supporting women at a vulnerable time. Getting to work at hospitals in Burnley and Blackburn as part of my T Levels really helped make up my mind.

“There are many different pathways to progress toward your ultimate goal. T Levels mean you can still achieve a place at one of the country’s most prestigious universities through a pathway that suits your learning style, just like I did.”

Burnley College is always at the forefront of innovation in education and is leading the way in T Levels with the help of T Level Ambassador Zoe Ashton. There are now courses across multiple sectors from Engineering to Education, Construction to Health and Science and Digital skills, too.

Do you want to learn more about how this qualification will give you the skills you need to succeed in your chosen career?

Learn more at https:// www.burnley.ac.uk/sixth-form-home/t-levels/

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