Only top-quality vocational courses to count in post-16 league tables
--- Hancock: “We must be honest about which courses help young people get on in life.”
--- New high-quality courses in construction and engineering being developed for 14- to 16-year-olds
Thousands of vocational courses which do not on their own lead to jobs, further study or university could be dropped from college and school sixth-form performance tables as part of reforms to raise education standards, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said today.
Around 90 per cent of nearly 4,000 Level 3 vocational courses may no longer count in the tables.
The move follows Professor Alison Wolf’s ground-breaking report into vocational education, in which she said that “at least 350,000 young people in a given 16-19 cohort are poorly served by current arrangements. Their programmes and experiences fail to promote progression into either stable, paid employment or higher level education and training in a consistent or an effective way.”
There has also been an explosion in the number of young people studying vocational qualifications between the ages of 16 and 19.
- The proportion of 16- to 19-year-olds studying at Level 3 taking at least one of the post-16 Level 3 vocational courses available rose from 30 per cent in 2008 to 48 per cent in 2012 – from 101,000 students to around 185,000.
- The number of young people aged 16 to 19 studying vocational courses rose 196 per cent between 1995 and 2010. In comparison, the number of those studying A levels in the same period rose 21 per cent.
The reforms are outlined in a consultation launched today by the Department for Education. They would be phased in from 2014, and follow similar action to overhaul school league tables for 16-year-olds.
Read more ... (DfE - 07 March)