ONE of the first 52 colleges to introduce the new government-sponsored T levels — an alternative to A levels for technical and academic students — is working in partnership with the diocese of Chelmsford.
The London Design and Engineering University Technical College (LDE UTC), which is state-funded but has an “active chaplaincy service” paid for by the Chelmsford Diocese Education Trust, will begin teaching construction, digital, and education and childcare courses from September 2020, alongside 51 other higher-education institutions.
A further 22 courses, covering finance and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, and creative and design subjects will be introduced in stages from 2021, the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, announced last week.
“For too long, young people have not had a genuine choice about their future, aged 16,” he said. “While A levels provide a world-class academic qualification, many technical-education courses are undervalued by employers, and don’t always provide students with the skills they need to secure a good job. That has to change.”
The chief executive of LDE UTC, Geoffrey Fowler, said on Tuesday that the college was “delighted” to be among the first to offer the courses. “Our students can now make informed progression choices, knowing that a technical route via the new T levels will be on par with A levels.
“LDE UTC students already enjoy an employer-led ethos, where our partners, such as the diocese of Chelmsford, the University of East London, Costain, Skanska, Thames Water, and Fujitsu, contribute and enhance career and progression pathways.
“With our employer partners, we will now develop our T-level offer around design, surveying, and planning, with our first cohort starting in September 2020.”
A spokesman for the diocese on the LDE UTC Trust, Chris Beales, who is a member of the board and of the subcommittee for teaching and learning, explained: “The UTC is a state school, but has an active chaplaincy service which is paid for by the diocese of Chelmsford and run by the Centre for Theology and Community.
“The service the chaplains provide is warmly welcomed and much appreciated by students and staff, and they have become an integral part of the life of the UTC.”