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Government 'planning new vocational schools'

07/01/2011 Joanna

The coalition government is planning to create specialist vocational schools to train children from the age of 14.

Speaking to the Times, former Conservative education secretary Lord Baker of Dorking, who is leading the scheme, said that up to 70 could be opened in the next five years.

Giving youngsters the opportunity to end academic study at 14 and move on to practical courses will help to tackle the current shortage of people with vocational skills, he commented.

"If we are going to have high-speed rail, the fastest broadband in the world, new nuclear power stations, we are going to need technicians. We simply don't have enough technically orientated people coming through."

Speaking this week at the North of England Education Conference in, Labour peer Estelle Morris said secondary school pupils should take their GCSE exams at the age of 14 as this will prevent people from dropping out of school early.

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