From education to employment

Exam reforms do not go far enough, warns Edge

The government’s planned exam reforms do not go far enough to give young people the skills they need for employment, education charity Edge has warned.

According to Lord Baker, Edge’s chairman, reforms proposed by Education Secretary Michael Gove lack a crucial “learning by doing” approach.

“It’s vital that schools and colleges provide education which develops practical skills and personal qualities as well as subject knowledge,” he said.

“This has to include opportunities to learn by doing. This isn’t about the skills needed for a particular job. It’s about understanding how maths and English – and many other school subjects – are used at work and in adult life.

“And not just that: it’s also about teamwork, solving problems and communicating with other people. Exams have to be capable of recognising all these talents.”

Edge today launched a new policy document called Six Steps for Change, which outlines a programme of studies for 14 – 18 year olds where academic and hands-on subjects are combined.

These steps are:

1.       recognise that there are many talents and paths to success

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2.       ensure that “learning by doing” is valued equally with academic learning

3.       provide technical, practical and vocational learning as an integral and valued part of every young person’s education and as a recognised route to success

4.       from the age of 14, give young people a choice of learning experiences and pathways based on their motivation, talents and career aspirations

5.       ensure that the technical, practical and vocational education and qualifications offered in schools, FE and HE are high quality and recognised by employers

6.       ensure all young people, whatever their different abilities and interests, leave the system with confidence, ambition and the skills to succeed and the skills the economy needs

Natalie Thornhill

(Pictured: Edge chairman Lord Baker)

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