14-18 - A New Vision for Secondary Education

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  1. NUT Section
  2. Βιογραφία συγγραφέα: Baker Kenneth
  3. – Ask what counts – The New Visions for Education Group

All pathways will provide a broad education, but each will have a distinctive character matched to the talents and ambitions of individual students. In - A New Vision for Secondary Education , Kenneth Baker builds a compelling case for reform, with contributions from a range of educationalists who draw on the history of English education, practice elsewhere in the world, and their experiences. An essential read for anyone interested in the future of secondary education.

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My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Sorry, the eBook that you are looking for is not available right now. Description eBook Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Responsibility for ensuring education for all was in the hands of Local Authorities. Subsequently that concern for all children led to the development of comprehensive system of secondary education, intended to cater for the full range of ability, social class and vocational aspiration.

It is important to refer to a comprehensive system rather than to comprehensive schools. The system includes comprehensive schools. But many local authorities have schools, from which students transfer to 6th Form Colleges or Tertiary Colleges. These are crucial parts of the comprehensive system — but ones which, despite their merits, could be an endangered species because of the reforms now proposed see p.

NUT Section

In what sense, then, are we witnessing a radical change? To that end the maintained system is being dismantled, schools are individually contracted and accountable to the Secretary of State, and their continued future depends on the Ofsted inspectors and the results of tests and examinations agreed by the Secretary of State. Demise of local education authorities, centralisation of education through contracts to the Secretary of State, success or otherwise of school and colleges on the basis of a testing regime, and influential calls for the creation of a three stage system of schooling 5 to 9, 9 to 14, 14 to 18 2 affect profoundly how we see the future for year-olds.


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That tide is more often than not in full flood by the age of 14, and hence 14 is the age at which a shift in the nature of education is advocated by many 4. Already choices are made at 14 between different educational pathways leading to different qualifications at 16 — affecting further choices for qualifications at Moreover, to support such choices, transfer to different institutions is now made available at 14 — full-time through the new University Technical Colleges the brain-child of Kenneth Baker and part-time through partnerships between schools and colleges of further education affecting over , young people.

Indeed, it has been proposed that young people at the age of 14 should be able to transfer full-time to FE Colleges where there will be more effective vocational pathways. The argument is that between the age of 14 and 18, young people require a more adult environment as they prepare for the future. They require a wider range of opportunities than can be offered by schools, which inevitably lack the expertise and resources to satisfy the learning needs of many.

Also, recent reviews of research have shown how much the lives of young people have changed over recent decades, especially in relation to the increase in mental health problems 5. The traditional framework of the curriculum and of the school day may well not satisfy the range of learning needs of young people with such different aspirations, abilities, social backgrounds and problems to be overcome.

It would seem that one size does not fit all. Add to this the changed economic situation and declining opportunities in the labour market. Up to the mids, the majority of young people would leave school at 16 the raising of the school leaving age was in without qualifications but able to find work in unskilled jobs. By the majority were in full-time education. But the collapse of the labour market leaves a million of 16 year-olds without employment or likelihood of employment, despite being better qualified. How should such factors affect our understanding of the aims of education for year olds, of the kind of learning to be promoted, of the range of qualifications worth pursuing, of the institutional provision which will respond to so many different needs?

Such a question forces us to raise fundamental questions about the aims of education and the values which schools, colleges and youth service should nurture.

Unexamined values shape the educational experience of young people from 14 to All these reflect unquestioned values and thus the aims of education. What then, by contrast, are the educational aims which enable all young people to live fully human lives — not just the academically able. We need a vision of education which embraces those who have opted out of or who are disengaged from formal education — those who are often rescued by colleges of further education or by the youth service with its own distinctive pedagogical approaches see the evidence of the National Youth Agency to the Select Committee 7.

Formal education is dominated by success in narrowly conceived forms of academic learning, thus undermining other capabilities of importance to our society, namely, those reflecting the broader aims outlined above. This is crucial, not simply for the many young people disengaged from formal learning due to its narrow focus and the deep sense of failure caused, but also for those deemed successful but whose success often lacks understanding of the subject matter.

See, for example, the trenchant criticisms by the Smith Report where successful teaching to the test, though leading to high scores, too often leads to poor understanding 8. A wider vision of learning is required, one which respects the practical as well as the academic, informal and experiential as well as formal learning, key concepts and ideas as well as facts and formulae, and the possibilities opened up by recent developments in Information and Communication Technology.

It should draw on the range of expertise and resources within the community. There is a need, therefore, to restore. This culture emphasises the day to day management of affairs, the formulation and solution of problems, and the design, manufacture and marketing of goods and services 9. All the above need to be learned through the initiation into the different forms of knowledge and understanding, into moral traditions so neglected, into practices of doing and making, and into civic and public traditions of service.

Βιογραφία συγγραφέα: Baker Kenneth

Essential to this wider vision of learning, as young people have to make decisions as early as 14 about their future namely, the learning pathways to follow and the qualifications to pursue , is an independent, impartial and well-informed IAG. Let us consider some of the problems. There are about possible combinations of A Level examinations. The wrong combination, chosen in all innocence, might deprive the student opportunity to enter the degree course wanted.

The Russell Group of universities require of the majority of successful candidates to have a university based examination or test as well as their A Levels.

– Ask what counts – The New Visions for Education Group

The more knowing schools will provide coaching or at least show where such coaching is available — something not known about by many schools. Again, those who seek apprenticeships need to know where such apprenticeships are to be found. Again, students often move onto Level 2 vocational qualifications in college, discovering only later that the qualification leads to nowhere. Despite these problems, appropriate IAG is not available for many. Connexions Service has focused on the minority who are in danger of becoming disengaged from education. IAG for the rest has too often been conducted within schools by people who are not well informed about routes into the plethora of higher education degrees with different A Level and entry test requirements , appropriate further education courses, local and regional apprenticeships, and employment needs and possibilities.

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