From education to employment

NEU: Post-16 Beyond Breaking Point

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Commenting after the passing of motion 42 at NEU Annual Conference, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“The post-16 sector has endured detrimental treatment of both its staff and students for years. A lack of funding and cuts to staff has reduced the quality and breadth of its students’ education.

“The effects of the pandemic on mental health affected our young people, including those studying in the further education sector. The cuts to mental health provision for children and young people have been brutal. While schools and colleges do all they can to support students they have neither the professionalism nor the time to properly address students’ needs. Government needs to adequately fund mental health provision for both students and staff in all colleges, including on-site counselling and support services.

“At the same time, the impending defunding of General Applied Qualifications including Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications leaves students facing fewer options and a narrowing curriculum. Young people, employers and universities have not been convinced by the Government’s ‘flagship’ qualification T Levels which only a small number of young people can access. T Levels have also been blighted by much higher drop-out rates than other qualifications. And the announcement of more changes and the introduction of the Advanced British Standard is set to destabilise post-16 education even further.  

“The Government needs to address the issues of funding and the direction of travel with qualifications in post-16 education to ensure that young people get the education they deserve, for both society and the economy.”

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