The new post-16 vocational landscape


The post-16 education landscape is changing, and from September 2025 it'll look significantly different to the current one.

Following its review of post-16 qualifications and below, the Department for Education (DfE) confirmed its aim of developing a new streamlined qualifications system for students aged 16 and over. To enable this, post-16 level 3 vocational qualifications in England are currently undergoing major reform.

On this page we'll provide a summary of the reforms including what's happened so far and what it could mean for you and your post-16 vocational curriculum. We’ve created a timeline which explains the redevelopment process and shows the next steps and the estimated key dates.

Continue teaching Cambridge Technicals with confidence

You can continue teaching our current Cambridge Technicals Level 3 qualifications with confidence in 2023/24.  Apart from the Level 3 Cambridge Technical (2016) Diploma in IT (720 GLH) and the Level 3 Cambridge Technical (2016) Extended Diploma in IT (1080 GLH), which are to be defunded in July 2024, our other Level 3 Cambridge Technicals are unaffected in 2024/25.

If there were to be a change to existing policies, for example, due to a change of government, this reform may be reviewed which could lead to a continuation of funding for current Level 3 qualifications.

Check out all the current last first teach dates for Level 3 Cambridge Technicals with our Level 3 Cambridge Technicals funding guide

We’ll update you as we know more about this and will continue to provide you with everything you might need as a result of these changes. Sign up for email updates to receive our newsletter and all the latest updates direct to your inbox. 

Please bookmark this page to keep up to date with developments.

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Quick Reference Guide

Quick Reference Guide

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Level 3 Cambridge Technicals Funding Guide

Level 3 Cambridge Technicals funding guide

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Post-16 level 3 qualifications in England are undergoing major reform. What reforms are taking place? What's already happened? What's still to come? Discover the routes and options available to students from September 2025 including the DfE's plan to approve reformed academic qualifications, known as Alternative Academic Qualifications.

Background to the reforms
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Level 3 Alternative Academic Qualifications - Cambridge Advanced Nationals

Our new Level 3 Alternative Academic Qualifications - Cambridge Advanced Nationals - are for first teach in September 2025. Our new qualifications will complement existing A Level study programmes by providing students with the practical and essential skills and knowledge they need to better prepare themselves for entry into higher education and university.

Level 3 Alternative Academic Qualifications - Cambridge Advanced Nationals 
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Our Post-16 Programme of Study

16 to 19 year old students who want to progress onto further or higher education, but don't want to study only A Levels (or a T Level programme), can choose a mixed study programme. We offer over 30 A Level qualifications alongside vocational qualifications such as our existing Cambridge Technicals which can be supplemented with Core Maths or an EPQ.

OCR Post-16 Programme of Study
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Level 2 Post-16 qualifications

The DfE has confirmed it's moving ahead with post-16 level 2 reforms. Its aims are to improve quality and better prepare individuals to progress to further study/training at level 3, or directly into skilled employment in sectors and occupations where level 2 skills are needed. Discover how this affects your current curriculum and existing Level 2 Cambridge Technicals.

Post-16 Level 2 qualifications
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Key dates for our current Cambridge Technicals

The DfE published a list of qualifications that overlap with Wave 1 and 2 T Levels on 11 May 2022. Most of our Cambridge Technicals (2016) qualifications didn't overlap with T Levels and will continue to be funded until our new Alternative Academic Qualifications are launched. Find out when funding eligibility is removed from all our current Cambridge Technicals.

Key dates for current Cambridge Technicals
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Get involved in the development - join our teacher panel

Would you like to have your say about the re-development of our new Alternative Academic Qualifications? What should content look like? What support do you need? What's important to you when delivering new qualifications? Sign up to our teacher panel and tell us your thoughts about our qualification re-development. We'd love your feedback.

Join our teacher panel
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Frequently asked questions

Browse our frequently asked questions to find answers to some commonly asked questions about post-16 reform including what reform means to you and what's going to happen to Cambridge Technicals. If you have a question that you can't find the answer to, please contact one of our support team on

Frequently Asked Questions

Keep up to date with all the latest post-16 reform news

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Contact us

If you have any questions about post-16 reform and how it affects you or what it means for Cambridge Technicals you're currently teaching, our advisors are here to help. You can contact them on 01223 553998 or by email: