Results Day celebrations at DCG

Published on: Friday, 19th August 2022
Oliver Betts
Digital T Level students including third from the left: Corban-Lee Jones

A Level students at Derby College were joined on Thursday 18th August 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, collected their results from the Joseph Wright Centre.

The atmosphere was celebratory 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.

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

"We have therefore had 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.”

Among the students celebrating their success was Oliver Betts (18), a former pupil at Long Eaton School, Gained A* grades in Geology and the EPQ qualification, A in Biology and B in Maths.  He is now heading to the University of Bristol to study Paleontology – a subject that has fascinated him from a young age.  

Derby College Digital Production, Design and Development T-Level students, based at Derby College’s Joseph Wright Centre, are now looking forward to the next stage of their education and careers.

All the students have completed industry placements with Rolls-Royce plc – working remotely alongside the software development team who have continued to operate that way since the start of the pandemic.

Corban-Lee Jones (18) from Ilkeston, a former pupil at Kirk Hallam Community Academy is now looking for a job in web development or data analytics.

He said: “When I was looking around for IT courses, the T-Level really stood out to me.  I have enjoyed being part of a small class with a focused learning experience and the support from everyone at Rolls-Royce has been amazing. I have really improved my communication skills and have a lot more confidence now.”

For more information about the academic, vocational and technical study programmes available at Derby College, please visit www.derby-college.ac.uk 

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