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New T-level course to encourage young people into Health careers

21st March 2024

Bede Academy has developed a new T-Level course in health in partnership with Northumbria University, to support young people considering careers in healthcare.

Designed to encourage more people to work in the NHS, health and social care, the new course will offer students the chance to take their first steps towards achieving their career aspirations through an alternative pathway to A Levels or apprenticeships.  

With a national shortage of skilled healthcare professionals, the University and Bede Academy say that the new course will prepare students for work, further training or study in a range of careers across the health sector.

Experts from the University’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health and Student Recruitment team have worked closely with the leadership team at Bede Academy to develop the course curriculum and train teachers to deliver it at the Academy’s campus in Blyth.

The University will also provide further support after the course begins  in September, including use of facilities, support to secure placements and allowing pupils to shadow students at Northumbria University.

Speaking on the partnership, Helen Bower, Director of Student Recruitment at Northumbria University, said: “As an institution we are dedicated to making higher education more accessible to allow as many people as possible to pursue their career goals, as well as helping to meet the regional and national workforce requirements and this new course will help us to achieve both those objectives.

“These types of courses are integral to helping more people access careers in healthcare. We’re hopeful that this could be the blueprint for a T-Level in health to be rolled out across other partner schools and colleges.”

Due to start running in September 2024, the two-year course will cover a range of areas including working in the sector, health and safety, managing information and data, good scientific and clinical practice. Students will also learn about person-centric care, health and wellbeing, infection prevention and control and safeguarding, as well as some core science concepts and their application in health.

Students will have the opportunity to specialise in the second year before progressing on to a higher-level apprenticeship, a degree course or employment across of number of areas including dental nurse, ambulance support worked, healthcare support worker, emergency care assistant, maternity support worker or social care worker.

Andrew Thelwell, Principal (Secondary) at Bede Academy said: “We are proud to be able to work in partnership with Northumbria University to introduce this course into our Post-16 curriculum. We want to build a partnership with Northumbria University so that our students can access the best possible routes into incredible, high-skilled, high value work and careers – in this case by working in the health sector – that will change, and in some cases save, people’s lives.”

By combining classroom learning with an extended 45-day placement students will gain hands-on experience and opportunities to engage with potential employers as well as develop an understanding of the workplace.

T-Level courses are nationally recognised programmes that launched in September 2020 and follow a framework created alongside employers and with support from the Department for Education (DfE). The courses are available at selected colleges, schools and other providers.

Bede Academy is one of 40 schools across the region partnered with Northumbria University through its NU Allstars scheme. The programme is designed to create and foster partnerships with schools and colleges to wider access and participation across higher education. The scheme offers students at partner establishments an extensive package of activities and guidance designed to build knowledge, skills and opportunities and support them into further education.

Through the scheme the university also offers a number of financial support opportunities, including a £1,500 scholarship, as well as additional support during admissions such as contextual offers, aspirational offers, dual offers and consideration of extenuating circumstances to help as many students as possible reach their goals.

Students who undertake and pass the new T-Level in health will be guaranteed interviews for related courses at Northumbria University.

Northumbria University is one of the largest centres for healthcare professional education in the North of England, offering a range of specialist degree and CPD programmes across many areas of nursing, midwifery, operating department practice, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The University’s Children’s Nursing programme is ranked third in the UK in the latest Guardian University Guide.

Northumbria University is dedicated to reducing health and social inequalities, contributing to the regional and national workforce and improving social, economic and health outcomes for the most marginalised in society. Through its new Centre for Health and Social Equity, known as CHASE, researchers will be delivering world-leading health and social equity research and creating innovative, evidence-based policies and data-driven solutions to bring impactful change across the region, the UK and globally.

For more information about partnerships and access participations programmes with Northumbria University please contact Tom Smith, UK Student Recruitment and Access Manager.

Click here for more information about the T-level in Health course at Bede Academy

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