From September 2013, there will be a new post-16 curriculum – 16 to 19 study programmes – supported by changes to post-16 funding. All students in full or part-time education aged 16 to 19 will be expected to follow a study programme tailored to the individual needs, education and employment goals of their students, including students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
The Education Funding Agency set out the school, college and work-based training provider funding arrangements and new funding flexibilities in their December 2012 funding update and March 2013 letter.
In completing their study programmes, students will:
A levels or substantial vocational qualifications at level 2 or 3 provide most students with the route to their career goals. Study for these qualifications should make up the majority of the study programme time. In most cases, students will take qualifications at a level above their prior attainment. The Department is currently consulting on the standards for level 3 vocational qualifications and which of these will count in performance tables.
Work experience will form an integral part of the 16-19 study programmes from September 2013. Schools, colleges and work-based training providers will be expected to offer their students high quality and meaningful work experience as part of their 16-19 study programme to give the student a valuable experience of the work environment and to develop their employability skills. For more information, see our dedicated post-16 work experience and enterprise education web area.
The English and mathematics requirement of study programmes means that students who have not achieved an A*-C GCSE in these subjects by age 16 will continue to study towards achieving them as a part of their 16 to 19 study programmes. This requirement will be enforced by making the study of English and mathematics a condition of the student place being funded from September 2014.
Where a student does not have a GCSE A*-C, they must take either:
From September 2013, Ofsted will inspect study programmes through the common inspection framework. 16 to 19 study programmes must also meet the Department's interim minimum standards if in a school or college. Private training providers of 16 to 19 study programmes must meet BIS' minimum levels of performance.
The Department has convened a ministerial working group to advise on the implementation of the planned changes to post-16 funding and curriculum. The group brings together representatives of all types of education institution, as well as others including employer representatives with a key interest in the result of the reforms. It aims to ensure that the reforms work in the best interests of all young people, including those on academic or vocational courses.
For any questions, please contact us at the address at the bottom of this page.
Department for Education
Funding full participation and Study Programmes for young people
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Open letter from Peter Mucklow to institutions delivering 16-16 education and training on the funding arrangements for 2013/14 for students aged 16-19 and high needs students aged 16-24
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Published July 2012.
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Published in July 2012.
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The technical baccalaureate qualification is announced. It provides an alternative to the A level study route for post-16 education.
Information about the new funding formula for 16- to 19-year-olds.
An outline of the key recommendations set out in Professor Alison Wolf's independent review of vocational education.
Information on the consultation on proposals to determine which level 3 vocational qualifications taken by 16- to 19-year-olds will be included in performance tables from September 2014.
Information on post-16 work experience and enterprise education from September 2013.
Information about the process for identifying underperformance in 16-18 education providers.