Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge, talks to FE News at ALP Forum for Employment & Skills.

Edge is an independent education foundation dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning. They believe the time has come for a transformation in our education system.  This has inspired the revolution campaign and Six Steps to Change Manifesto. They believe that while the world has changed enormously, our education system has not kept pace. It is largely based on a system developed over a century ago: a factory manufacturing model where children are placed on a learning conveyor belt and are sorted, packaged and labelled according to their so-called intelligence.

In this day and age there is no excuse for a top-down, one-size-fits-all education system. Edge feel we need to move towards a system of mass customisation, based on a strong common core of essential skills and knowledge, which, at the same time, allows young people to develop their own particular talents and aspirations. There is a need to support young people in discovering what they are good at and enjoy, and who they want to be in life. Edge believe that learning can only take place if it is seen as important and worthwhile.

Edge’s Six Steps to Change Manifesto responds to this need by setting out a vision of how governments across the UK can reform the education system to better meet the needs of all young people and employers. A change is required not because of the mistakes of any one politician, government department or single political party, but because the world has changed.  Globalization means the world has become one large talent pool. The economies who are most efficient at allowing their young people to discover and exploit their talents will be the ones to thrive. Add to this the context of today’s challenging economic climate - with young people leaving university this summer facing the toughest recruitment market in years – and the urgency for change is even clearer. 

At the heart of Edge’s revolution campaign is the idea that there are many paths to success, recognising that young people are individuals with different abilities and dreams. Edge is inviting everyone from parents and young people to MPs, education professionals and the wider public to join the revolution and add their voice to the campaign at www.edge.co.uk/revolution

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