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League tables or work-based learning?

11 April 2012

According to an Ofsted report published this week, some teachers deride pupils for opting to leave school at 16 and work as apprentices rather than focus on academic achievement. Whilst derision is not condoned, could this be the result of two competing government policies? On the one hand, the Government is currently driving the focus on apprenticeships but on the other, from 2014, it intends to measure schools based on the proportion of pupils that go to university.

With Government investment of £4.5million to give pupils high quality work experience and a publicity campaign of equal measure, apprenticeships certainly seem to be flavour of the month with the Government. But with schools always having at least one eye on league tables it is understandable that some are reluctant to actively support and promote apprenticeships at the expense of a strong league position.

Even the most innovative schools are going to find it difficult to win in this situation.

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