What does the tl badge mean and why do MPs wear it today?

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  • Viewers have seen MPs wearing them on TV and are wondering what does the tl badge mean?

    We are used to seeing Members of Parliament wearing badges to promote certain causes and initiatives. From cancer charities to women’s rights awareness. Most recently, Boris Johnson wore a wheat pin to show his support for #BackBritishFarmingDay.

    In January 2022, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi was spotted wearing a tl badge during several media interviews. And people are eager to understand what it represents. We explain the meaning of the badge and its link to the new post-GCSE education option which is offered as an alternative to A level.

    What does the tl badge mean?

    The letters tl stand for T Level and the badge most recently worn by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is the official logo for the UK government’s new learning initiative. T Levels are a 2 year qualification for 16-19 year olds that teach technical skills (hence the ‘T’) that aim to prepare students for the world of work. Each T level is equivalent to 3 A levels.

    “T-level students spend 80% of the course in the classroom, learning the skills employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful placement in industry, where they put those skills into action,” says the government website. “The Government has developed T Levels to provide world-class technical education and give you a new choice after GCSEs.”

    Credit: Gov.uk

    This new education option is offered as an alternative to apprenticeships, A-levels and other college courses for students aged 16 and over. 448 educational institutions across the country currently offer this qualification. You can check if your local school is on board by find your nearest Tier T provider here.

    T-level courses

    Since September 2021, 10 different T levels have been offered. Although the Ministry of Education has promised that 23 different T-level courses will be available by 2023.

    Current T-levels include:

    • Building services engineering for construction
    • Digital Business Services
    • Digital Support and Services
    • Design, surveying and planning for construction
    • Production, design and digital development
    • Education and child care
    • Health
    • Health Sciences
    • On-site construction
    • Science

    Why does Nadhim Zahawi wear the tl badge?

    As head of the education department, Nadhim Zahawi wears the tl badge for promote the initiative and publicize the new qualification.

    The education secretary most recently wore a tl badge during an appearance on Good Morning Britain in January 2022. Although he was not discussing T-levels, but rather being interviewed on another government issue.

    Mr Zahawi led the debate on T-levels in parliament in November 2021. This was in the context of the second reading of the Post-16 Skills and Education Bill in the House of Commons.

    “I’m a big believer in T-levels,” he said. “As I’ve said before, I want them to become as famous as A-levels, and I want to make sure we get them right. As many young people as possible should have the benefit of studying and pass a T-level.

    T-levels sparked controversy recently when Mr Zahawi announced the government was scrapping requirements to study English and maths.

    Previously, T-level students had to pass their GCSEs in English and Maths to pass their T-level course. T.

    “We are absolutely clear that English and maths must remain at the heart of T-level curricula,” said the education secretary. “But we don’t want to unnecessarily prevent talented students from getting to T-levels just because of the added hurdle of reaching Level 2 in English and Maths. This is why I can also announce today that we will remove the English and Mathematics exit requirements from T Levels.”

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