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Value of vocational subjects downgraded to protect traditional GCSEs

01/02/2012 Joanna
Professionals working in teaching jobs across the country will experience a notable shake-up in what courses they are asked to lead over the next two years, now that the government has cut the value of thousands of vocational qualifications.

Up until this week, hundreds of vocational courses, including those teaching hairdressing or horse care skills, were placed on equal footing with GCSEs.

Furthermore, in some instances, some vocational courses were worth as much as two, three or even four GCSEs, enabling some specialist schools to focus on courses that would boost their standing in league tables.

However, the government confirmed earlier this week that these courses would not carry as much weight from 2014, with thousands of qualifications being reassessed and downgraded – they will also not be included in future school league tables.

Professor Alison Wolf, whose recommendations formed the basis for the move, said: "People were doing lots of qualifications which were getting league points for their schools but which, when they went out into the labour market or when they went to college, they found actually nobody valued.

"So we were essentially lying to kids and that's a terrible thing to do."

Already, the decision has been welcomed by business and industry groups, with employers noting that, by encouraging those in teaching jobs across the country to focus on teaching traditional skills, the school-leavers of tomorrow will be better equipped to deal with the demands of the working world.

Just last year, a significant number of teachers across England switched their attentions to training pupils for the English Baccalaureate exam, which was introduced in a bid to show pupils are able to achieve high grades in a range of subjects, including maths, science, English and at least one foreign language.ADNFCR-2164-ID-801280651-ADNFCR
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