A new survey commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shows that 3 in 5 parents in England have still not heard of T Levels.
With only one year to go until the first T Levels are rolled out in England, a survey of parents of 11-18 year olds commissioned by CMI shows that around 3 in 5 parents (57%) have still not heard of T Levels and only 1 in 10 (11%) feel they know a lot about them.
This lack of awareness is greater among those from lower socioeconomic groups, where 84% of parents had never heard of T Levels.
Once explained, many parents are optimistic about the potential of T Levels. 71% think T Levels will help prepare young people with the skills needed for the workforce, 58% think they will be better than existing vocational programmes and 53% think they will have the same status and value as A Levels.
When challenged over the survey’s findings, the DfE said they would be launching a fresh “nationwide campaign” to raise awareness next month.
Public relations firm Havas Worldwide London Ltd won a contract to design the T-levels logo for £250,000 and has since been given access to £3 million for the implementation of the campaign in 2019/20.
The DfE has not said what this campaign will involve.
A YouTube video, which explains what T-levels are, was published by the DfE last year but has only had just over 11,000 views to date, while a similar video launched last month only has 970.
Rob Wall, Head of Policy at CMI said:
“Raising awareness of T Levels with parents is proving to be a real challenge. As parents are a major influencer in young people’s education and career choices, educating and informing parents will be key to making T Levels a success.
“At CMI, we know that high quality technical and vocational education increases employability and boosts social mobility and the Government’s recent announcement to invest additional funding in T Levels is to be welcomed. But students cannot enjoy these benefits if they are not aware of or not encouraged to consider non-academic pathways.
“The fact that over 4 in 5 parents from lower income households have still not heard of T Levels should be a huge wake up call for Ministers and policy makers alike.”
While some individual colleges have launched, or are gearing up to launch their own T-level awareness raising campaigns, some say they themselves do not have enough information about the new qualifications.