Advanced British Standard – London Consultation event update
Through the delivery of several reforms over the past decade, the Government has focused on improving the quality of post-16 education, so that all qualifications prepare young people for their next step – whether that is further study, an apprenticeship or employment – and ultimately a successful career and adult life. The government has found A levels and T qualifications have constraints: it limits the breadth of young people’s education and prevents full parity between technical and academic routes.
The Association attended the London leg of the Department for Education’s (DfE) Advance British Standard (ABS) consultation roadshow on 31 January 2024. Other events were also held in Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
The consultation events are part of the DfE’s ongoing exercise to gain employer feedback on proposals and to introduce a new qualification framework for 16–19-year-olds. The ABS will bring together the best elements of the current 'A' and 'T' levels into a single framework that merges academic and technical routes. Despite its name, the Advanced British Standard will only apply in England.
At the London event, the main aims of the ABS were to broaden young people’s education, increase the number of subjects that they learn at 16-19, increase the number of teaching hours and raise the standing of technical qualifications. These were broadly welcomed. However, there were concerns about the requirements for the compulsory maths and English elements of the proposals and how the need for additional teaching hours would be met.
As well as these in-person events, a paper consultation is also ongoing. We will be consulting members on this shortly to ensure your views are represented in our response, which must be submitted by 20 March 2024.