Two weeks ago I along with a number of other people called for signatures for a Petition that had reached just under 75,000 signatures and only had nine days left to try to achieve 100,000 so that Parliament could be encouraged to call a debate on the subject. The Petition was set out by Noemi Csogor back in July and it had achieved 22,000. signatures within the first two months. Amazingly two days earlier than the deadline which was the 23rd of January it reached 100,000 signatures and it has hit 108,352 by the 23rd. I am very proud that in Sussex there are three significant areas that signed it. Bexhill and Battle was first, then Hastings and Rye and then Brighton Pavilion. Across the nation it managed to achieve 32,000 signatures in a just over a week. The closed petition is available here and the detail is below. Parliament has so far had 6 days to organise a debate, let us hope that it emerges soon on the list for debates.
Protect student choice: do not withdraw funding for BTEC qualifications
Reverse the plan to withdraw funding for most applied general qualifications such as BTECs and guarantee they will continue to play a major role in the qualifications landscape. Students should not be forced to choose between studying A levels or T levels from the age of 16.
For many young people, studying BTECs will continue to be the most effective way of accessing higher education or skilled employment. These well-established, high quality qualifications are popular with students and respected by employers and universities. They can be studied alongside, or instead of, A levels and provide an important alternative to T levels. Removing BTECs will leave many students without a viable pathway after their GCSEs, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.