Government’s education review to create better routes into vocational training

Prime Minister Teresa May has announced a Government review into post-18 education which aims to break down “false boundaries” and urge people to “throw away” an “outdated attitude” which she says favours academic over technical and vocational qualifications.

The year-long review will examine all aspects of student funding, fees and finances, including maintenance grants to help with the cost of living and potentially cutting or freezing tuition fees, and is due to conclude in early 2019. It will be supported by an independent chair and panel.

The Prime Minister said: “For those young people who do not go on to academic study, the routes into further technical and vocational training today are hard to navigate, the standards across the sector are too varied and the funding available to support them is patchy. 

“So now is the time to take action to create a system that is flexible enough to ensure that everyone gets the education that suits them.”

Many in the beauty industry have cautiously welcomed the proposed review, hoping it will remove the “two-tiered system” for academic learning which places a stronger emphasis on higher education learning than vocational or technical training courses.

Alan Woods, CEO of specialist awarding organisation VTCT, commented: “Higher and further education funding is causing a multitude of issues, and we cautiously welcome the Government’s pledge to carry out an independent review. However, there is still a lack of focus on the needs of further education learners and the benefits which vocational and technical training provides to businesses and the wider economy.

“We would like to see the review focus on creating an education system which balances the strengths of both higher and further education, and this will be a real litmus tests of the Government’s commitments to increasing the number of skills-based learners, enabling variety for higher education learners, and supporting apprentices.”

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