A 'one size fits all' secondary education system is no longer fit for purpose, according to Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief executive of Ofsted. Students who are less academic aren't being given sufficient opportunities, he said in a speech today (January 18th).
With a growing record of youth unemployment, Sir Michael suggests that a lack of high-calibre vocational training could be to blame.
These warnings come following Ofsted's annual report, published last month, which showed that the necessary standards of education aren't being met in some secondary schools in the North and the Midlands.
The government has recently enacted reforms that place strong emphasis on academic achievement. These mean that students have to study English, maths, science, a language and either history or geography until the age of 16. However, Sir Michael argues that some pupils are more suited for a vocational career.
According to the Guardian newspaper, in a speech to the CentreForum education thinktank, he will say: "The country cannot continue to fail half its future. The great comprehensive school headteacher knows that a 'one size fits all' model of secondary education will never deliver the range of success that their youngsters need. Some of our international competitors understand this probably better than we do."
His suggestion to solve this is to create a cluster of primary and secondary schools that are better suited to cooperate with bodies that can offer apprenticeships. The system would also include comprehensive careers advice across the group.
Posted by Theo Foulds