UTCs. Another expensive failure?

What's happened to University Technology Colleges - the 14-19 schools created by one time Secretary of State Kenneth (now Lord) Baker? Citing ‘academic snobbery’ for the failure to establish proper technical education in this country, which he argues has caused skill shortages and contributed to further industrial decline, Baker has established  60 UTCs with  employer … Continue reading UTCs. Another expensive failure?

Youth unemployment on the way up?

This week's ONS labour market data shows unemployment’s rising again. A slight increase to 3.9% in the last quarter  (the number of people working also fell) but enough to suggest that the labour market's cooling.- if not reaching full capacity (pay has continued to grow in real terms). Youth unemployment grew more significantly. Up to 11.2% … Continue reading Youth unemployment on the way up?

25 T-Levels coming your way!

  The government has just published another Action Plan (apparently this is the third!)  for T-levels, now buoyed by the enthusiasm of Secretary of State Gavin Williamson ‘a former FE student myself’ for vocational alternatives. Having much in common with Labour’s Specialist Diplomas, there are some important differences. Unlike the post-16 Ts, the Dips started … Continue reading 25 T-Levels coming your way!

‘Doing it better than the Germans’. Gavin Williamson and pies in the sky.

Over a third of German secondary school students go on to a vocational/technical programme.  Now, Gavin Williamson, the latest in what is getting to be a long line of Tory education ministers, has promised that UK young people will have even better opportunities than young Germans, by the end of the next decade. https://www.tes.com/news/gavin-williamsons-tory-conference-speech-full   … Continue reading ‘Doing it better than the Germans’. Gavin Williamson and pies in the sky.

Labour: the long and the short.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at this week’s TUC conference, reaffirms Labour’s commitment to changing the balance of power within the labour market. Alongside the repeal of anti-union laws, Corbyn promised to introduce sectional collective bargaining, something that still exists in many European countries despite the decline of traditional industries. There’ll be a ministry for employment rights … Continue reading Labour: the long and the short.

Education’s magic money tree?

After being told there's no 'magic money tree', suddenly there's lots of money around. After years of cutbacks, and even before the Chancellor announced his ‘Spending Review’, Boris Johnson has promised billions for education. While Labour politicians and the authoritative Institute of Fiscal Studies have been quick to point out Johnson’s £14 billion over three … Continue reading Education’s magic money tree?

Another year of A-level results

Another year of A-level results. Attention has focused on the slight dip in performance levels particularly for As and A*s grades. Yet this is due to a ’comparative outcomes’ approach to assessment, introduced by Michael Gove during  his ransacking of state education. Gove considered that examination boards where deliberately manipulating grade boundaries and causing ‘grade … Continue reading Another year of A-level results