Edge, the independent foundation dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning, has launched its Six Steps to Change Manifesto as it reveals the education system is failing young people and businesses.
According to research carried out by YouGov, 74 per cent of young people believe the current education system needs to be changed to better meet their needs. In addition, 70 per cent of young people now working full-time claim their education hasn’t prepared them for work.
In front of an audience of 200 education and business leaders at the Insitute of Directors in London last night, Edge outlined the following Six Steps to Change:
1. A broad curriculum up to age 14 with opportunities to develop life skills and experience a range of future options.
2. SATs replaced by an individual profile of attainment, skills and aptitudes which would be used by students, parents and teachers to choose a post 14 pathway.
3. At 14 all students, in addition to continuing a broad curriculum, including English, maths and science, would be supported in choosing a pathway matched to their interest and abilities, each with a different balance of theoretical and practical learning.
4. Students on practical and vocational courses would be taught in specialist facilities or specialist institutions and by appropriately experienced staff.
5. At 16 students would choose to specialise within their pathway, change to another pathway or enter employment with training.
6. Beyond 18, students would have the opportunity to study at degree level in a centre of vocational excellence endorsed by employers.
Andy Powell, Edge’s chief executive, commented: “The current education system, with its corrosive divide between academic and vocational learning, reflects a social attitude which views ‘know how’ as inferior to ‘know what’. This attitude is failing children and the UK economy.
“Our Six Steps Manifesto eliminates the current academic bias. The Six Steps would ensure there are more high quality vocational options with high-class facilities and specialist teachers.”
“We hope that political leaders across the UK recognise that the education systems as they currently stand are letting down young people and businesses and implement the changes we recommend.”