As the report stresses in the last four years, there have been significant changes. It has become a normal part of life in schools in this country that some young people are studying and achieving recognised qualifications in vocational subjects before 16. New GCSEs in vocational subjects have been launched and the first group of young people have just succeeded in obtaining their qualifications. The Increased Flexibility Programme has given around 90,000 young people the opportunity to spend some time learning subjects in colleges which cannot easily be offered in schools. And from September 2004, for the first time, 14 year olds are pursuing Young Apprenticeships, giving them the chance to combine school studies with learning alongside skilled workers. Work-related learning is now a statutore requirement and the entitlement to enterprise education will be in place by September 2005.
This discussion explores that in some parts of the country, designated as 14-19 pathfinder areas, the process has gone even further. Schools and colleges have worked with local authorities and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to offer young people a range of options which goes beyond what any one institution can provide and which is succeeding in attracting many more young people to learning. In other places, new sixth forms and colleges are being opened, boosting participation and choice. ...Show more