Full-time vocational education courses developed in colleges and school sixth-forms in response to increased staying on rates from the 1980s. They were seen as alternatives to academic learning and offered through training organisations like City & Guilds and BTEC now long since subsumed into larger examination awarding bodies. They concentrated on particular occupational areas, particularly … Continue reading The rise and fall of vocational education
With A-level results announced earlier in the day, UCAS reported 409 000 successful university placements – up 3% against A level results day in 2014 and including 362,000 students accepted to their first choice. The 5% increase in 18 year olds and a 2% growth in those 19 has been at the expense of older students. There’s … Continue reading As A-level juggernaut rolls on, is it really ‘university or apprenticeships’?
The CBI’s John Cridland has re-opened the debate about the 14-19 curriculum. http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/john-cridland-festival-of-education-speech/ Cridland has called for GCSE to be abolished within 5 years ‘High-stakes exams at 16 are from a bygone era’ and, in a further swipe at the Gove/Morgan examination reforms, for the status of vocational learning to be upgraded. ‘For too … Continue reading CBI’s curriculum proposals. A step forward, but big questions remain
Still running the show? Last week’s secondary school league tables began to bed down the first of Michael Gove’s examination changes for 14-19. The 2014 tables excluded performances in resits or in BTEC style vocational qualifications –and gave further prominence to English Baccalaureate subjects. As a result many schools found that though their overall performance in … Continue reading New league tables bed down Gove’s curriculum
Radicaled has posted critiques of Labour’s polices for 14-19 year olds to emphasise the continuity with those of Lord (Kenneth) Baker, whose support for a strong academic –vocational separation and in particular, for University Technology Colleges (UTCs) offering employment specialisms, led to Tory tensions with Gove’s ‘grammar school education for all’ approach. https://radicaled.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/tristram-hunt-and-two-nation-labour/ https://radicaled.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/tech-bacc-step-back/ As … Continue reading ‘All in it together’
The recent publication of official papers from the 1980s provides further context to the introduction of GCSEs. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/30/national-archives-revelations-released-documents . The new common exam, reflected the growth of comprehensive schools, many being given the go ahead by Thatcher herself, while a dual system of CSE and GCE O-level examinations, the former still acting primarily as a … Continue reading GCSEs, Margaret Thatcher and Michael Gove
After months of concern, alarm bells are ringing over accreditation of new A-level syllabuses http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/dec/02/headteachers-criticise-government-chaotic-a-level-reform-delays Maths and further maths have been put back a year to 2017, while chemistry and English literature syllabuses, due to be taught from 2105 have yet to be given the green-light by Ofqual. With continued doubts about the new GCSEs also … Continue reading Gove’s exam reforms may still come off the rails