Back to reality as teenagers get vocational options

Teenagers
in England will be able to spend more time studying vocational subjects at
school under government plans to be announced today.

Youngsters
disaffected with academic subjects will be able to learn craft skills in an
effort to establish closer links between schools and industry, BBC news online
reports.

The
Government’s strategy for 14-to-19 year olds will see the cutting back of the
curriculum to make space for pupils who want to opt for vocational lessons.

The
intention is to provide a flexible curriculum that has options for both
academic and non-academic pupils, which will keep most young people in
education and training until the age of 19.

Information
and communication technology (ICT) will no longer be compulsory – a move which
might be interpreted as a relegation for a subject once championed by
ministers.

And
it has already been announced that modern languages will be optional after the
age of 14.

This
will mean that pupils will still have to study English, maths and science – but
more than two-thirds of the timetable will be available for vocational
subjects.

It
is hoped that work-related subjects will be more likely to motivate pupils who
have lost interest in academic lessons.

A
new type of science GCSE will also be introduced, which will seek to be more
attractive to youngsters, with clearer connections to issues such as pollution,
cloning and genetics.

By Ben Willmott

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