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Results Day celebration at DCG

A Level students at Derby College will be joined today (Thursday August 18) for the first time by students who have completed their T Level qualifications which were launched two years ago as the ‘gold standard’ of vocational and technical education.

Nearly 360 A Level and the 25 students, who are the first to complete the initial three T Level study programmes, will collect their results from the Joseph Wright Centre from 8am.

The atmosphere is set to be celebratory at the College as A level students have achieved a 98% pass rate and 100% of T Level students achieved a pass rate in Advanced Education and Childcare; Digital Production, Design and Development; and Construction, Design, Surveying and Planning.

Nearly half of the cohort achieved the top grades: A* to B for A Level students and Distinction grades for T Level students.  This is higher than the previous Teacher Assessed Grades – bucking the predictions that actual grades would be lower this year.

Derby College was one of the first providers to offer these brand new T-Level qualifications to students in 2020 and the only College in the East Midlands to offer all three of the first qualifications available: Advanced Education and Childcare; Digital Production, Design and Development; and Construction, Design, Surveying and Planning.

T Levels are 16 to 19 qualifications, broadly equivalent in size to three A levels, that focus on technical and vocational skills. They can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.

T Level students spend 80% of the course in their learning environment, gaining the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action.

With a current cohort of 136 students and more programmes coming on board every year, T Levels are now available in a wide range of subjects with the College offering courses in the three original three subjects as well as Civil Engineering, Digital Support Services, Engineering and Manufacturing: Design & Development, Health, Science and Management and Administration.

Derby College Assistant Principal for Academic Education Matt Ridgill said: “These are exceptional results and we are incredibly proud of the hard work, commitment and resilience of our staff and students.

“These results and particularly the increase in higher grades are especially good considering it is the first time that this cohort of young people have sat external examinations and much of their first year was affected by lockdown restrictions.

“We have maintained high expectations of students with wide ranging practical and emotional support for students to ensure they were exam-ready.

“Early indications are that a good majority of our students will now be heading off to their first choice university and the team of teaching and support staff will be on hand to support anyone who needs to clarify the situation and make decisions on their next step.

“It has been important for everyone collecting their results to realise that there are a wide range of options still open to them.

“We therefore have information available for students about apprenticeships, clearing and the College’s Higher Education study programmes.”

Deputy Principal Kate Martin continued: “The success of our first T Level cohort is testament to the robust frameworks of these qualifications which have been co-designed and co-delivered by a wide range of employers and these companies have played a vital role in the success of these students.

“All of our T Level students have either secured jobs, higher apprenticeships or university places following their study programmes and we look forward to tracking their progress throughout their future careers.

“We are still waiting for some of the BTEC results but early indications are that these are also very high and that these students will also be progressing to their first choice university or into the workplace.”