Tag Archives: vocational education

Education or training?

The Conservative manifesto includes a commitment to ‘continue to replace lower-level, classroom based Further Education courses with high-quality apprenticeships that combine training with experience of work and a wage.’ Given that we now have a Conservative-only government, we need to understand … Continue reading

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Many colleges in one

A science college, an engineering technical college, a media technical college, a music industry college and several super-selective A-level providers offering a narrow range of subjects to high-achieving students. These are just some of the new sixth forms which have … Continue reading

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5 vocational myths to avoid

A checklist for politicians who want to talk about vocational education and apprenticeships during the election campaign: Myth 1. The vocational route is a practical alternative to university Many students on advanced vocational courses progress to university and these courses are … Continue reading

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Bacc on the agenda

If England is to have a post-16 education system fit for an advanced modern democracy we need to move towards a single national baccalaureate capable of meeting the aspirations of all young people and founded on shared values and a … Continue reading

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Russell Group university progression: dispelling the myths

Since the Russell group of universities started publishing their ‘Informed Choices’ guide and launched the concept of facilitating A-level subjects, their advice has often been misrepresented or misunderstood. ‘Informed choices’ is a helpful contribution to advising and guiding students about sensible subject choices … Continue reading

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Inspectors make the case for comprehensive colleges

A report by the national education inspectorate makes a strong case for comprehensive sixth form colleges rather than vocational colleges. The case is based on evidence that comprehensive colleges are more socially mixed and achieve better results. The report has … Continue reading

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Post-16 performance tables: taking the long view

The recently published 2014 post-16 performance tables show that A-level students at Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) improved their performance faster than the national average for the second year running. They also show that our advanced vocational students performed better … Continue reading

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Where do all our A level students go?

NewVIc’s A-level university progression suggests that sixth forms which set excessively high A-level entry requirements are missing out on many students who could progress to higher education, including to the most selective universities. I have already posted here about the university destinations of the … Continue reading

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Vocational education: rejecting the narrative of failure

According to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, we have a ‘lamentable record on vocational education’ which is ‘failing to deliver the needs of both young people and society’. Criticism of vocational courses is echoed by many, including the Labour Party in … Continue reading

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5 New Year wishes for post-16 education

Here are my 5 personal post-16 education wishes for 2015. I think they are modest, realistic and realisable and could probably be progressed at no net cost. I believe that, taken together, these 5 changes could start to yield tangible benefits for … Continue reading

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Investing in East London’s future

Our annual analysis of the university destinations of our students always makes impressive reading. While we can’t guarantee that every former NewVIc student who progresses to a degree level course will get a graduate level job in a few years’ … Continue reading

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Gramsci’s grammar and Dewey’s dialectic.

James Donald’s ‘Dewey-eyed optimism’ Over 20 years ago I read a short review article which re-examined the relationship between knowledge, skill, vocationalism and a broad liberal education. It helped me see that progressive educators could value knowledge and tradition as … Continue reading

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Labour’s disappearing National Bacc

Has Labour ditched its commitment to a National Baccalaureate for 14-19 year olds? According to the party’s Education and Children statement, Labour will ‘establish an overarching National Baccalaureate framework for all post-16 students which would include high quality academic and … Continue reading

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Alison Wolf on education and the economy

NewVIc autumn lecture: 12th November 2014 Alison Wolf is Professor of Public Sector Management at King’s College London and the author of the ‘Wolf Report’ commissioned by Education minister Michael Gove in 2010 to ‘consider how we can improve vocational … Continue reading

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Education and skills coming together?

The appointment of Peter Lauener as the chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) while remaining as chief executive of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) has prompted speculation that the two agencies could soon be merged, although this has … Continue reading

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