Colleges in the fifth wave of the T Level rollout are being invited to bid for a slice of £150 million to help upgrade their facilities and purchase specialist kit.
The capital fund, which reopened today, is being made available to those that will offer the new technical qualifications from 2024. It follows previous funds that totalled £38 million for wave one, £95 million for wave two, £135 million for wave three, and £150 million for wave four.
There are two parts to the fund:
the building and facilities improvement grant (BFIG) which providers need to bid for
the specialist equipment allocation which is awarded using a formula allocation
The specialist equipment allocation is a payment available to all T Level providers when they begin delivery of a T Level route for the first time. In waves one, two and three the allocation was based on the number of students a provider expected to have in the fourth year of T Level delivery.
Providers delivering T Level routes for the first time in academic year 2023 to 2024 are eligible for wave four specialist equipment allocation funding. DfE will allocate funding based on the October 2022 T Level data collection.
To receive the specialist equipment allocation for the 2024 to 2025 academic year, new providers must have registered to deliver T Levels by midnight on 24 March 2023.
New and continuing T Level providers delivering T Level routes for the first time will be eligible to receive funding if they complete the May 2023 and October 2023 T Level data collections, today’s guidance said, adding: “You need to confirm projected student numbers for the first 4 years of delivery of the T Level route, starting with the 2024 to 2025 academic year.”
Providers must bid for the BFIG by 12 noon on February 3, 2023. This grant is not available for independent training providers.
Skills, apprenticeships and higher education minister Robert Halfon said: “T Levels are the new gold standard for technical education and this funding pot of over £150 million will help to ensure that providers have the world-class facilities they need to deliver top quality courses.
“I’d encourage T Level providers to bid so they can extend the ladder of opportunity to more young people looking to gain the skills and workplace experience to forge successful careers.”
The first three T Levels – the technical equivalent to A-levels – in construction, digital and education and childcare were launched in September 2020.
A further seven were made available from 2021 in subjects including health, science and onsite construction and subjects including finance, media and legal will be introduced from 2022 and 2023.
All providers, including those judged ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted, will be able to offer any of the 23 T Levels available from 2024. The last T Level, in marketing, will be available for all providers to deliver from 2025.
As previously revealed by FE Week, colleges will have to keep on running T Levels for at least 20 years if they want to avoid handing back the millions they will receive in capital funding.