More on the Skills Plan

The DfE and BIS published the long awaited post-16_skills_plan  in the summer of 2016. Based on recommendations from the Sainsbury Review, its main proposal was a new ‘technical route’ with qualifications available from Level 3 and above and with parallel status to the academic pathway. Now included in Theresa May's industrial-strategy            … Continue reading More on the Skills Plan

A new technical route?

Technical and vocation education would appear to be one of the main beneficiaries of Theresa May’s new ‘industrial strategy’.   May has announced £170m of additional funding for institutes of technology (we assume this will involve an upgrading of existing FE provision on a regional basis) While several high-tech sectors have been identified, the government will … Continue reading A new technical route?

Education’s ‘Great Reversal’

They used to  focus  on skills shortages, but now more labour market commentaries are emphasising the under- utilisation of skills and qualifications;  particularly in relation to the excess supply of graduates compared to the number of ‘graduate jobs’ available.  More recently still, concern has focussed on the extent of unpaid student debt  - the consequence … Continue reading Education’s ‘Great Reversal’

‘Twenty years of schoolin …’

Bob Dylan returned to media pages last week, with his Nobel Prize generating a flood of articles on the significance and influence of his music. Dylan’s scathing one-line condemnation of the American school system in the 1965 Subterranean Homesick Blues may have been a little premature, but it’s now becoming increasingly accepted, that if not … Continue reading ‘Twenty years of schoolin …’

Is there a skills crisis?  Do schools and colleges contribute to it?

  Despite performance levels in education being higher than ever, some continue to bang on about skills shortages and about young people not being ‘ready for work’. According to the British Chamber of Commerce for example, two-thirds of businesses believe that secondary schools are not effective in preparing young people for employment and could do … Continue reading Is there a skills crisis?  Do schools and colleges contribute to it?

Under-Grads, NEETs and the Apprenticeship Levy

The Certified Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) considered one the leading commentators on skill development and the labour market, has just published an extensive report about the  ‘mismatch’ between graduates and the work they do. CIPD estimates that 58% of graduates are now underemployed, doing work for which they are over qualified –even … Continue reading Under-Grads, NEETs and the Apprenticeship Levy

Parents climb walls to help their children cheat.

This astonishing picture from the Indian state of Bihar, published by  several news agencies (also as part of a Daily Telegraph video report), provides a chilling example of the faltering relationship between educational credentials and the labour market.  Some were apparently trying to hand in answer sheets folded into paper planes to the 12th grade … Continue reading Parents climb walls to help their children cheat.

GCSE with Chinese Characteristics (East Asian Illusions Part 2)

Ofqual justifies the latest reforms to GCSE in terms of needing to peg grades against those achieved in China and other East Asian countries, even if making these ‘incomparable comparisons’ raises as many questions as they provide answers and continues to ignore an array of other reasons for the staggering economic performance of these countries.   ( … Continue reading GCSE with Chinese Characteristics (East Asian Illusions Part 2)

East Asian Illusions.

Martin Allen     (due to appear in Education for Liberation Journal of the Socialist Teachers Alliance, NUT Conference  April 2014) Though his right-wing ideological credentials cannot be disputed; Michael Gove also continues to justify many of his curriculum changes in the context of the UK’s declining international economic performance and says we should import learning practices of … Continue reading East Asian Illusions.