A new level, from A to T
Tony Blair may not be exactly everyone’s flavour of the month these days, but his attempt to put “education, education, education” at the top of the political agenda was manna from heaven for all us passionate believers. However, like some of his other enterprises, this has not been an easy ride, and successive governments have successively fiddled whilst the system has been close to catching fire.
The stated aim is always simplicity but existing systems and the need for continuity inevitably appear to frustrate the potential reforms and the outcome is, usually, just yet more entries in the scholastic dictionary. AS- levels and S- levels have bitten the dust, and now we are about to have T- levels. At least, the chancellor mentioned them in the Autumn Budget, so they do look firmly on the cards.
T-levels are intended to cover all the technical skills required to embark on careers as diverse as beauty and construction with each course requiring 900 hours of teaching each year, 50% more hours than those given to academic students. Further Education colleges will be the main providers, but this also will cause a problem due to the capital investment needed to make them fit for purpose, in addition to the £500 million per annum that the government has earmarked for running this scheme.
The radical decision to reduce 13,000 technical qualifications to 15 is intended, as the government describes, “to be the biggest overhaul of post-school education in 70 years”. Unsurprisingly, this is no easy task, and the first two routes have already been delayed from 2019 to 2020 with the remainder, hopefully, still on course for 2022.
There remain serious concerns about even this timing of their implementation and the general secretary of the Association of Schools and Colleges voiced his fears, stating “we are concerned that there is a lack of joined-up thinking from the government over technical education”. From a different angle Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers welcomed the development but said, it is essential that “the curriculum and qualifications are world leading and stand the test of time”, another obvious cause for delay.
This desire to teach and administer technical courses so that they are on an equal footing with academic work is admirable and necessary if we are to catch up, in this field, with countries such as Germany and the United States. However, steering this truck is going to require a mammoth co-ordinated effort from both government, educational bodies and awarding organisations
Perhaps you suspect your child has some learning difficulty and you would like advice on what you should do. Or perhaps it is becoming clear that your child's current school is not working for him or her, and you need help to find a mainstream school which has better SEN provision, or to find a special school which will best cater for your child's area of need. Our SEN consultancy team advises on both special schools, and the mainstream schools with good SEN support, from reception through to the specialist colleges for 19+.
Special Educational Needs Index
There are currently around 163 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. Almost half of these are in what are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.
How to find a state grammar school
Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe or Charlotte Church standing. And sometimes, just sometimes, parental pride is justified.
Find the best school for your child.
One month subscription - £0.49 per day
Three month subscription - £0.41 per day
Six month subscription - £0.33 per day
One year subscription - £0.29 per day
Register for instant access to:
☑ Search for more than 30,000 schools in our parent friendly interactive directory.
☑ Create and save lists of schools via My Schools.
☑ Use our comparison grid to get exam results overview of schools you are interested in.
☑ Find comprehensive advice on state and independent schools, tutors and special needs.
☑ Catchment maps for English state schools by…
The British guide to great universities from Harvard to Hong Kong.
We tell you how to choose, how to apply, how to pay.
Why study in the US?
Ask the US-UK Fulbright Commission... Ask the US-UK Fulbright Commission who report that you're in good company: the US is the top destination for international students worldwide. In fact, over 11,000 British students chose the States for their studies last year.
Scholarships for International Students
Here's where you click to receive our giant pdf on US university scholarships for international students, covering how to find financial aid and how...
Can I afford it?
America might proclaim…