Post-16 reforms: be part of the solution
The post-16 reforms in England bring challenges and apprehension about the future for educators and learners. This is why, as experts in technical education, we’re working to create new opportunities and to fully support the sector through this period of change.
Understanding the future
By now you’ll know that from 2025-26, Level 2 and 3 academic and technical qualifications must meet new criteria; all others will have funding approval withdrawn. Only qualifications that are “necessary, high quality and have a clear purpose” will be approved. The reforms will mean that A Levels and T Levels become the ‘qualifications of choice’ at 16-19 – however, other technical and academic qualifications will also be available.
Naturally, this has left many providers wondering about the gaps they can see opening up in provision for their learners.
A positive outlook
The good news is that beyond 2026, we’re planning to offer continuity for you and your learners. We’re consulting with industry specialists to provide alternative pathways and ensure no learner is left behind. We believe we have found the solution to ensure that excellent qualifications will still be present and funded in uniformed public services, and we're excited about the future.
At a time when you might feel unsure what the future holds, the one piece of certainty is that NCFE is absolutely committed to the future of post-16 education. We're working through the details, we have a plan and we’re standing by you.
Be part of the solution
Our qualifications are always designed and developed in collaboration with industry experts, just like you. Our new solutions that will come out of the reforms will be no exception.
We want to work closely with subject matter experts, employers, providers, HEI and professional bodies to ensure that our products are:
- reflective of real-world industry scenarios
- designed to equip learners with the skills needed by the sector
- accurate in terminology and up-to-date best practice
- meet the skills needs of employers in industry
- fit for purpose and future-proofed.
How to get involved in developing qualifications
Join us as a practitioner and get involved in development if you are an individual expert in your field who can provide insight and knowledge during the development phase of the qualification.
In the current cycle of the reforms, we are developing technical qualifications in:
- travel and tourism
- health and social care
- uniformed public services.
To take part, you should have hands-on experience in the subject area. If you take part, you will be involved in writing, reviewing and scrutineering qualification and assessment materials. In most instances, practitioners (or their employers) can be remunerated for their time.
How to get involved in consultation and validation
We consult with a forum for organisations who have a significant stake in the outcome of the qualification and give them the opportunity to validate and feedback on a complete draft. For many employers and providers, this is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into a qualification that will affect their industry and their potential future employees or learners.
Due to the nature of this work, and to ensure feedback is independent and robust, members support voluntarily.
If you’re interested in getting involved, we'd love to hear from you. Please reach out to Jodie Wade, our Resource Manager, to hear more: [email protected]
David Rowley, Product Manager in Technical Education, explains the latest developments from the post-16 reforms and why he believes we have an opportunity to create a fantastic technical education landscape.
The Level 3 review represents a significant change in post-16 education policy, says our Product Manager of Technical Education, David Rowley. Here, he breaks down the key takeaways.
Our Learning for Work Product Manager, Emzi Mills-Frater, explains what the post-16 reforms will look like for adult learners and when these changes will come about.