Post-16 reforms | NCFE

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Post-16 reforms

The qualification reforms in England bring about significant changes in post-16 education policy, creating both opportunities and challenges for the sector. 

As the experts in technical education, we’re working to create new opportunities and we’re here to support the sector through this period of change. Our specialists are working in collaboration with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to devise exceptional technical products that will meet the needs of providers, employers and learners.

This page gives you expert guidance, video explainers and up-to-date information to support you through the post-16 reforms. Check back for regular updates.

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What are the reforms? 

From 2025-26, Level 3 academic and technical qualifications must meet new criteria; all others will have funding approval withdrawn.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. 

Watch the videos below for more information, or find answers to your frequently asked questions.

What are the post-16 reforms?
Why are they happening?
Academic vs technical qualifications
What do the changes mean for learners?

We understand that the reforms may cause uncertainty for educators and you will have questions about how the changes will affect your learners. We’ve created some handy explainer videos with more information on the post-16 reforms including subject-specific information on sport, health and social care, travel and tourism, uniformed public services, adult education and much more. 

View the playlist

Join us in shaping the future of technical education  

Our team of specialists is collaborating closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to develop exceptional technical products that cater to the needs of providers, employers, and learners.  

We want to collaborate with as many stakeholders as possible to shape our new portfolio and your expertise would be invaluable. You don’t need to be an education expert; that’s our job. We’re simply looking for practitioners who can reflect on their skills and experience – so that we can reflect that occupational reality in the qualifications and assessments we develop.   

You could get involved with: 

  • Supporting the development or review of content and assessments 
  • Providing letters of support. 
Express your interest in collaborating with us
4 Proactive Steps Blog

4 proactive steps you can take during the post-16 reforms

We understand the challenges the reforms present and are standing by you as you plan for the future. In this article, David Rowley, our Product Manager for Technical Education, shares some proactive steps you can take. 

Students At Table

Post-16 reforms: be part of the solution

We're seeking practitioners and subject specialists to be part of the solution for the upcoming post-16 landscape changes, by getting involved with consultation and validation, as well as with developing qualifications.

Early Years 1

What’s next in the post-16 reforms?

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.