The first cohort of students to complete the governments new flag-ship T level qualifications at Wigan and Leigh College have achieved 100% pass rate, 9% above the national pass rate.
The new qualifications are equivalent to 3 A levels and in addition to examinations the students completed a substantial work placement that ran throughout the course. Their hard work has seen them achieve significantly above national pass rates and grade boundaries with 83% gaining higher grades and over a third achieving the highest possible distinction grades.
The successful students studied pathways in priority skills sectors such as Health & Care, Civil Engineering, Education and Digital/Computing and with these skills in such high demand the students have secured some exciting next steps.
T Level Civil Engineering student, Ryan Hupton, formerly of The Westleigh School achieved a Distinction grade and will progress to a lucrative degree apprenticeship with leading structural steel engineering group, William Hare.
T Level Teaching & Education student, Mia achieved a Distinction grade. The former Golborne High School pupil heads to Edge Hill University to study BA (Hons) Primary Education with Qualified Teaching Status.
Mia said: "I've loved the course and I'd recommend to all. Our tutors have been supportive and believed in us all. The opportunities we had in partnership with Edge Hill have been very valuable and prepared me for the next steps."
College Principal, Anna Dawe added:
“The T level qualification is very demanding but the students worked so hard and have earned these outstanding results. However this couldn’t have been done without the support of the teaching staff and our wonderful employer partners who have provided high quality prestigious work placements. Such experience is priceless.”
The college worked with a number of large employers to secure student placements such as: Network Rail, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, BCEGI Construction UK Ltd and Wigan Council.
Other T Level students preferred smaller, community focused experiences with employers such as One Vision Media Productions CIO, St Luke’s C.E. Primary School and PCS Personal Care Services.
T Level Digital student, Harry Latham achieved a Distinction and is now progressing to Leeds Beckett University to study Robotics and Automation – his first choice.
The former Byrchall High School pupil said: “I am delighted with my result. This is better than I was expecting so I am very happy. I am aiming for a career in design and engineering within robotics.”
Harry benefitted from his 45 day work placement with WWL NHS. His first year involved software development and in his second year there was a focus on data analysis which ‘gave me an eye opener into how data is used.’
“Both placements were very good. Being able to understand programming logic has helped. I hadn’t done computer science before my first year so I found it difficult at first but our teachers brought me up to speed quickly which was good. This has given me a completely new skill.”
“Everything we learnt in the first year we put into practice in the second year. This gave us the building blocks for everything else.”
His classmate, Dylan Cruickshank secured a degree apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions with CDL – a market leader in the retail insurance sector.
“The T Level was great – it was very hands on and gave me a lot of chance to test my skills. My placement (with Wigan Council) was good as it gave me a lot of work based skills,” said Dylan.
Amelia Whiteside completed the T Level Health (Health Professionals) course with distinction grades meaning she had a wide choice of university destinations to choose from.
The former Holy Cross Chorley pupil has career ambitions to become a radiographer, specialising in nuclear medicine, and is due to start a degree in Diagnostic Radiography at the University of Cumbria.
"The ward rooms we have for practical sessions have really helped and having the mixture of placements and theory was what I liked, she said.
"I did two placements, one working with supported living and the other at a day centre for people with learning disabilities. The benefits of the placement were really good as they helped improve my communication skills (especially how to communicate with individuals with learning needs) and also my team working skills.”
This year, the college are delivering further T Levels in subject areas such as accounting with even more to roll out in the following academic year.
It’s not just only a wide range of university places and higher and degree level apprenticeships that the T Level students have progressed onto, but some decided to progress onto a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ) at the University Centre Wigan & Leigh College.
Roman Shinks, who completed his T Level in Civil Engineering after enjoying an extensive work placement with Network Rail, enrolled onto the new Construction Management HTQ course. HTQs are the new national higher level qualifications, equivalent to under-graduate study but with flexible study options they are usually shorter and cheaper.