• The Parents Guide to

Levels of education. What do they mean?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are 8 qualification levels (1 - 8) plus an entry level qualification for those just starting. Generally, the higher the level, the more difficult the qualification is. Levels 1-3 are typically taught in schools and colleges.


With so many different qualifications, it can be hard to know what they mean and where they might lead to next. To help you understand, we've created a summary of what the levels mean highlighting academic, vocational and work-based routes to higher education.




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Wherever we refer to ‘parents’ we mean ‘parents and carers.’ This includes grandparents, older siblings or any other  person with significant caring responsibilities for children.