Vocational education suffers from its second class status – variously seen as a ‘consolation prize’ and ‘for other people’s children’. It deserves better – for its own sake and for the sake of social justice, but also, as the speakers at the IOE’s second ‘What if…’ event this week noted, for the sake of our economy.
As Tony Little, chief academic officer of GEMS Education and former headmaster of Eton, remarked, ‘we’re preparing our army for the last war’; the economy and labour market are changing fast, and young people need a broader education. As evidenced by November’s Budget and Industrial Strategy, the government itself seems to have woken from its slumber on skills, and vocational education’s time has come (again). We have been here before, of course, so how can things be different this time around?
Also responding to the question, What if… we really wanted to overcome the academic-vocational divide? were (more…)