Vocational learning could soon be on an equal footing with the traditional academic pathway thanks to the Education for All Bill outlined by the Queen yesterday, according to the new CEO of the AELP.
The Queen’s Speech, which revealed few details about education policy, set out the government’s vision to turn every school in England into an academy.
Mark Dawe, who took the helm of AELP (Association of Employment and Learning Providers) in Easter, also pointed to the government’s restated commitment to Apprenticeships in the address.
“It is vital that the vocational route has complete flexibility to allow young people to switch from classroom and workshop learning into a real job with Apprenticeship training as soon as they are ready to do so,” Dawe said.
“Young people should not be prevented from making this transition at any point during learning. For many other 16 year olds, it may be a Traineeship that is appropriate at 16 after their school experience if they are not ready for an Apprenticeship.”
Below is a selection of comments on the Queen’s Speech from other leaders in the education sector:
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “Once again the Government is not acting in the best interests of children. Pushing ahead with its plans to make all schools into academies will cause more chaos for children and schools at a time when the Government should be focussing on the priorities – a school place for every child and a qualified teacher for every class. The Government needs to get a grip and sort out the teacher shortage crisis, school places crisis and the increase in child mental health issues all of which are more important than reorganising who runs schools.”
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation, said: “The government has wisely backed away from compulsory academisation, but the plan to require many more schools to become academies requires more excellent multi academy trusts. Our research has shown that the quality of existing chains is variable with more chains underperforming the average of all schools than overperforming. If this policy is to support those schools with significant numbers of disadvantaged pupils, it is vital that schools should link up with multi academy chains that have demonstrated their ability significantly to improve school performance.”
Chris Keates – general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: “The new role for local authorities and the plan for academisation in local authorities deemed unviable or underperforming, continues the obsessive focus on structures rather than standards, despite the recent U-turn the Government was forced to make as a result of strong opposition from within its own ranks. This is a pointless and redundant Bill which serves no real purpose other than to seek to detract attention from the difficulties at the heart of the Conservative Party in the run up to the EU referendum.”
Allan Foulds, president of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “While we welcome the introduction of a new National Funding Formula to address the current inconsistencies in the system this will not on its own solve the severe pressure on budgets. More investment is urgently needed. We are also disappointed that the government has not so far announced measures which go far enough or fast enough in addressing the teacher recruitment crisis. It must do more to promote and incentivise teaching as a great career.”