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Burnham For Mayor

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wolf Review endorses Labour's warnings of Gove's education policy

I have long called for raising the status and quality of vocational education and find much to welcome in Professor Wolf's vision.

It endorses Labour's warnings that Michael Gove's narrow, academic focus risks relegating vocational learning to second-class status.

Alison Wolf's vision simply cannot be delivered if Michael Gove persists on his current course. She is right to warn that his flagship English Bac could lead to schools "ignoring less academically successful pupils.

I am pleased that the report also warns Cameron and Gove against "trying to recreate 1960s education". It is quite simply wrong to promote Latin above Business Studies and ICT. Instead, we need to equip the next generation with the skills and experience they need to succeed in today's competitive world.

It is yet another embarrassment for the hapless Mr Gove that a report he commissioned raises serious doubts about one of his flagship policies. Alison Wolf is joining hundreds of headteachers in calling for a broader and more flexible English Bac. it is time for Mr Gove to perform another of his famous U-turns.

We will support all efforts to improve the status and quality of vocational education. We accept the need to look at the weight attached to some vocational qualifications in league tables.

But it is unfair and wrong to give the impression that many young people are wasting their time on worthless courses. There is clear evidence, and the Review acknowledges, that many vocational courses are supporting progression to further study and employment.