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Two-thirds of secondary schools are deliberately flouting the law – Reaction from Lord Baker

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THE BAKER CLAUSE – ONE YEAR ON 

Comment from Lord Kenneth Baker

“The IPPR Report on the impact of the Baker Clause is excellent. 

“It has found that up to two-thirds of secondary schools are deliberately flouting and flagrantly disregarding the law of the land in not allowing the providers of technical education – FE Colleges, University Technical Colleges, Studio Schools and Apprenticeship providers – to go into their schools to talk to 14, 16 and 18-year-old students.  Many students in mainstream schools want a technical education which is no longer provided in secondary schools.  The Baker Clause was a major step to improve career guidance and by ignoring it schools are denying the right of their students to know more about technical education.  This is totally unacceptable for schools must open their doors to technical education providers.  

“Two things must be done urgently:

  1. First, OFSTED should be asked to report on whether a school has satisfactorily implemented the Baker Clause and career guidance should be rated from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Outstanding.’ 
  2. Second, the Department for Education must write immediately to all secondary schools asking them to report by March 31st 2019 on the arrangements they have put in place for alternative providers to speak to their students and thus fulfil the statutory duty. 

“It is very important that the providers should be able to speak to all relevant students during the summer term this year so that they have a chance to move into technical education in September. 

“The Government is committed to increasing technical education, but T-Levels will not produce any qualified technicians and engineers until 2023.  Action is needed today to increase high quality technical education.”

The law without teeth

Charles Parker, CEO, Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Comment from Charles Parker, CEO Baker Dearing Educational Trust 

“University Technical Colleges (UTCs) welcome the report and recommendations published today by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR). IPPR is correct. Most schools deny their students the opportunity to hear about technical education pathways offered by UTCs at 14 and 16. Worse still they often just put forward the students who they do not mind losing. Schools always claim that they put the interests of their students first.  That is not true in this case.

“UTCs are making rapid and exciting progress in modern technical schooling.  For the fourth year running, our 18-year-old leavers are going on to fabulous destinations, either by starting STEM undergraduate courses or starting great apprenticeships with top technical employers or by going straight to work. Yet most parents and students still don’t know about the opportunities presented by UTCs. This needs to change. We want to see amendments to the regulations, which strengthen enforcement and penalties for non-compliance.

“We want to see the following;

  • Access to all schools and all students to tell them about our offer
  • Local Authorities must be obliged regularly to distribute our prospectuses to parents of students in Years 8, 9 and 11  
  • Ofsted should assess compliance with the Baker Clause as part of its new framework

“Government must help employers deal with the skills shortage.  There is strong and growing evidence that UTCs do this.  What on earth is the point of passing laws without teeth?”

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