Work-related learning given £60m boost

23 Jan 03
Schools and colleges have been promised nearly £60m over three years to fund more work-related learning for teenagers.

24 January 2003

Launching the government's 14–19 strategy this week, school standards minister David Miliband said there must be dynamic partnerships between schools, colleges and universities, as well as better links with employers and voluntary organisations.

The government would provide £46m up to 2004/05, with a further £12m available in 2005/06 to kick-start a national roll-out of schemes that encourage vocational learning, he told a conference of head teachers and college leaders in London on January 21. Much will be spent on whole or half-day training in further education colleges for 14–16-year-olds.

Judith Norrington, director of curriculum and quality at the Association of Colleges, said pathfinder schemes would need to be analysed to see if the money was sufficient. 'This is not a cheap option,' she warned.

Miliband stressed that students should have choices beyond the national curriculum.

To free timetables, 14–16-year-olds will no longer be required to study foreign languages or design and technology, although schools must provide them as options.

A working group, to be chaired by former chief inspector of schools Mike Tomlinson, will report next year on the potential for further changes, including the possible introduction of a baccalaureate-style qualification to replace A-levels.

The baccalaureate model was a progressive one, Miliband said. 'If such a system could recognise the range of achievement expected by employers and higher education, it will perform a major service,' he added.


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