We need an education system fit for the future

Feb 14, 2024

Beatrice Barleon stands in front of a multicoloured painted backdrop

Last week our Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Beatrice Barleon, shared her thoughts with FE News on the recently published Lords Education for 11 – 16 Year Olds Committee report on the secondary school education system.

The report, called ‘Requiring Improvement’, bemoans the undue focus on academic learning and written exams in English secondary schools - which is limiting opportunities for students to study a broad and balanced curriculum and to develop core skills.

Beatrice writes “We at EngineeringUK would agree with a lot of what is being said. In our recently published inquiry report looking at apprenticeships in England, developed in partnership and led by Lord Willetts and Lord Knight, we outline similar concerns – and in fact, come to similar conclusions.  Hands- on- learning, offered in subjects such as Design & Technology, has been on the decline for some time.

“This is leaving a lot of young people with little to no opportunity to make the connections between theoretical knowledge and, as some would say, is taking out all the fun that is meant to be part of learning.”

Beatrice argues we need to reach true parity of esteem between academic routes and more vocational pathways and ensure young people have access to careers information, advice and guidance that truly values these pathways equally.

In the engineering and technology sector there is a lot of great work being done to help young people make the connections between classroom learning and modern engineering and tech careers . However there is still much more to be done to reach young people across the country to give them the opportunity to learn more about the wide number of career pathways into critical industries, such as engineering and technology.

Read the full article on FE News.

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