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Cut school leaving age to 14, says Sir Chris Woodhead

(15 Posts)
nanny1 Mon 03-Oct-11 10:12:02

Anyone seen this today?

I wonder where the funding for the, "combination of apprenticeship and further education training and a practical, hands-on, craft-based training" is going to come from?

raggygranny Mon 03-Oct-11 13:42:59

In an ideal world every child would get the education and training that was right for her/him. Certainly forcing non-academic kids to stay at school till 16 does them no favours and makes life very difficult for their teachers. Maybe the money that would have gone to keeping them in school could be diverted to apprenticeships etc?

Elegran Tue 04-Oct-11 10:36:48

We need different types of school, each valued for itself, some concentrating on training brain surgeons and engineers, some on carpenters and bricklayers, some artists, but all giving an education in the 3Rs and the basic history/geography/science that seems to be so lacking in the population at the moment.

They could call some of them apprenticeship colleges, or some such thing.

crimson Tue 04-Oct-11 10:58:28

Weren't they called technical colleges and were then turned into Micky Mouse Universities that are now going to charge thousands of pounds a year for students to attend?

raggygranny Tue 04-Oct-11 11:58:39

A few years ago Channel 4 did a series that took 'failing' kids from comprehensive schools and put them in a simulated secondary modern environment where they were taught practical skills as well as the more usual school subjects. I have never forgotten the pride of the boys when they learned bricklaying and were able to show their parents what they had achieved. One of them saifd he had never been goos at anything before. I thought then that this was something that education ministers should take on board, but predicatbly nothing changed.

Littlelegs Tue 04-Oct-11 12:29:01

With all the will in the world not everyone in life is going to have the capacity to do some academic subjects - that is why we should look to the individual

We need different types of schools for different people and give praise to the people who are practical in life not just the academic. It must deflate some childrens confidence when praise is heaped on their peers who get high grades.

How often do we see t.v cover children passing their apprenticeships receiving certificates for completion of their courses - we only see the A* students. The children may have just put as much effort in gaining their qualification.

Elegran Tue 04-Oct-11 14:23:08

In my father's day he taught maths for a while in the Building School in Brighton. It was not even called a technical college, but it turned out young men who could plan and build a straight wall or do carpentry and so on.

They had an area where they did these practical things under the supervision of men who had earnt their living doing them, and classrooms where they were taught the usual more academic things by teachers, with the practical applications of their studies made clear to them.

Some of the pupils had had a chance to go to "better" schools but had chosen to do the more vocational course - and did very well.

carboncareful Tue 04-Oct-11 23:00:30

I think everyone should be entitled to so many years education which (after the age of 14) they can take at any point in their lives (free, of course). Schools would then have mixed ages in the classes - and this has been shown to be a better learning learning environment for pupils and teachers.

glammanana Tue 04-Oct-11 23:19:06

Both my eldest DGs passed the selection to go to one of the best school's on The Wirral on full scholorship,the eldest is now in his 3rd yr at Uni studing Law and Politic's the younger by 11mths has an apprentership with a diesel engineering company and come's home every night covered in muck and gunge,two differant boy's that you could ever meet,the elder is very academic and a fabulous boy,but the youngest has more every day common sense than his brother will ever have,the younger one was ready to leave school at 14/15 but was encouraged to stay on by the school which proved to be a massive waste of time,so every child has to go their own way and find the right path that suit's them I think.

goldengirl Wed 05-Oct-11 12:29:58

The option of a technical college or something similar - as in the 'Good Old Days' would be so much more interesting and useful for those whose skills are more practical than academic. Just allowing youngsters to leave at 14 will lead to even more trouble on the streets than we have now.

Pennysue Fri 14-Oct-11 22:47:50

Problem is that in this country practical skills are looked down on - My daughter took an Mechanical and Production Engineering Degree and I was asked "why does she want to mend cars"!!!!!! I had to explain that she would be designing not mending - she actually ended up working in the car racing industry (formula 1 and 2). My husband is an industrial maintenance engineer who has many skills and "bits of paper" to show for it, but of course he does get dirty hands so he can not anywhere near as "clever as someone" who sits at a desk and keeps their hands clean.

It was amazing when we were in Germany both Husband and Daughter were considered on a par with a Doctor or similar. That is probably why Germany has a car industry etc and Britain does not.

crimson Sat 15-Oct-11 20:05:59

Pennysue; my ex husband is an engineer and always used to bemoan the fact that, in this country doctors etc were held in such high esteem and he was thought to be inferior whereas in germany he was regarded as an equal.

Jangran Sun 16-Oct-11 16:26:44

Just a point - technical colleges did not turn into Mickey Mouse universities. There is no such thing as a Mickey Mouse university, although some of them used to be called polytechnics. Mickey Mouse universities are just a concept drawn up by the media to ensure that all university educations are not to be regarded as equal.

Because the whole educational system is organised in the spirit that the best get, not the best education, but the education that is regarded as being the best. In terms of life's chances, it means much the same thing, but in terms of educational benefits, there is all the difference in the world.

Hence the notion that people who learn to do practical things well are not as important - and often not as well paid - as people who have "professions".

gangy5 Mon 17-Oct-11 22:36:40

Plenty of sensible comments here. Many kids at 14, who are not of an academic ilk, would be well pleased to go onto a Technical College or apprenticeship. The advantage of this would be that many more of them would develop a feeling of self worth and have something to aim for.
I would like to start an e petition to 'BRING BACK TECHNICAL COLLEGES' but I'm not sure that many people feel strongly enough about this. I do because I was one of the struggling academic achievers who was given the chance to go to technical college. This enabled me to become a professional chef and then later go on to lecture on the subject.

My vocational qualifications took me far!

crimson Tue 18-Oct-11 14:08:15

I'm not critiscising technical qualifications; what I meant was that a youngster can pay as much to go through a university education at one university as another but an employer will still pay more heed to an older, more established university when it comes to employing someone. There are exceptions, one being Nottingham Trent University; was on a parr with the best universities when it was a technical college and employers were very happy to take on its' graduates [most of which had had an incredibly good technical education due to the uni having such good links with industry].A lot of young people have got themselves in debt by doing obscure courses that won't help them find employment. I'm not knocking technical qualifications; far from it, I despair of the fact that we seem to have a nation of accountants. Sorry; not making much sense, am I..long morning at work; brain frazzled!