How are T Levels funded?

With T Levels increasing in popularity, we thought it was time we talked about how they are funded.

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Delivery of T Levels began officially in September 2020.  They were created by employers and businesses to meet industry needs.  With T Levels being delivered across the country, and their popularity expected to increase, we thought it was high time we talked about how T Levels are funded.

How are T Levels funded?

The government appreciates that significant funding will be needed for the successful introduction and delivery of T Levels.  They have already announced additional funding of £500 million per year once T Levels are fully rolled out.  This will help providers meet the costs of additional teaching hours and organising industry placements.  Eligible providers will be able to apply for funding for up-to-date equipment and facilities. They will also be able to access training to help prepare their teachers and leaders to deliver the new qualifications.

The government has adjusted the national funding formula for 16 to 19 funding to accommodate T Levels.  The new formula can be found on the government website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-t-levels-will-be-funded-in-academic-year-2020-to-2021). 

As T Levels will include more teaching hours and be more prescriptive in their content than study programmes, the government has added 4 larger funding bands to the existing 5.  T Level students will be allocated to the appropriate funding bands. 

The table below shows the minimum hours and funding rate for each band of T Level:


Average planned hours
Minimum planned hours required for the bandFunding rate (2 years) 
Band 6 – small T Levels1250 hours1100 hours£8,726
Band 7 – medium T Levels1450 hours1300 hours£10,122
Band 8 – large T Levels1600 hours1500 hours£11,168
Band 9 – very large T Levels1750 hours1650 hours£12,216

At present, the 3 T Levels currently being delivered have been placed in Band 7.  After this academic year the 3 T Levels will fall into the following bands:

  1. Design, surveying and planning – Band 7
  2. Digital production, design and development – Band 7
  3. Education and childcare – Band 6

Programme cost weighting

The government recognises that some T Levels are more costly than others.  Consequently, the programme cost weighting (PCW[JW1] ) revision will apply.  The programme cost weighting factors for 2020 to 2021 are:

Weighting Value
Base1.0
Low1.1
Medium1.2
High1.3
Very high1.4
Specialist1.75

The T Levels being delivered this year have a PCW of 1.2.  It is expected that the construction T Level will receive a PCW weighting of 1.3.

Disadvantage funding

Disadvantage funding will also be available for T Level students who meet the criteria:

  1. Economic deprivation based on student postcode.  Those who live in the 27% most deprived areas in the country will receive this funding.
  2. Prior attainment in GCSE Maths and English at 16.  Those who did not achieve GCSE grades of A* to C or 9 to 4 by the end of year 11 will be eligible.  Learners who did not achieve a passing grade in either subject will be counted twice for funding purposes.  A funding rate of £650 will be given for each student needing support to achieve a level 2 Maths or English qualification.

Large Programme Uplift

Whilst T Levels are expected to be demanding, a small number of students may wish to take A or AS levels alongside their T Level.  Funding will be available for students wishing to do this through the large programme uplift (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-funding-large-programme-uplift). 

In order to qualify, a student must achieve a minimum merit grade on their T level and a minimum grade B on their A/AS level (or a minimum grade C for further Maths).  The A/AS Level must also add relevant content to the student’s programme that has not been covered on their T Level course.  Qualifying AS level students will receive 1 year of funding and qualifying A level students 2 years.

The uplifts for T level programmes are paid for either 1 or 2 years depending on whether it is for an AS level or an A Level:

10% paid for 1 yearT Level programme with at least a merit grade plus one AS level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or AS level further Maths at grade C
10% paid for 2 yearsT Level programme with at least a merit grade plus one A level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or A level further Maths at grade C
20% paid for 1 yearT Level programme with at least a merit grade plus more than one AS level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or AS level further Maths at grade C
20% paid for 2 yearsT Level programme with at least a merit grade plus more than one A level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or A level further Maths at grade C

It should be noted that students wishing to cover level 3 Maths alongside their T Level will also receive funding through the advanced Maths premium (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-funding-advanced-maths-premium).

Funding industry placements

Industry placements form a key component of the T Level. Industry placements will be funded by the government at £275 per student for each of the 2 years of the T Level.  Payments will be allocated for the T Level student numbers agreed with providers.

The Future

With the government already allocating £500 million in funding to the delivery of T Levels, it is clear that the qualification is expected to form a major part of the post-secondary education offering. 

The government has made it clear that they hope education will play a large role in the recovery of the UK economy post pandemic.  T Levels could certainly help in this endeavour. 


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