The prime minister has pledged to put technical and academic education on an equal footing with his plans to merge A levels and T levels under a new Advanced British Standard.
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This single new 16 to 19 qualification will see students taking a larger number of subjects at “major” and “minor” levels – with most candidates expected to study five disciplines.

Students will have the freedom to take a mix of technical and academic subjects although every student will be required to study some form of maths and English to age 18.

There will also be a new minimum of 1,475 hours of classroom study across two years (this compared to 1,280 hours for a typical A level and 1,000 hours for a typical technical student).

The plans are long-term – with 10 Downing Street stating that they will “take time to get right and extra funding to deliver effectively”. The prime minister said it would take a decade and his ambition is that pupils starting primary school this year will be the first cohort to take the new qualification.

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