Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Raising the education age

ASCL was at the centre of the media flurry over the proposed change to the mandatory education age, after John Dunford was invited to a breakfast seminar where Gordon Brown made the announcement. John was interviewed on Radio 5, Radio 2 and BBC News 24, as well as the national newspapers.

John first made it clear that the headline 'school leaving age to increase to 18' is not entirely accurate. The proposal is that young people must be in either education or work-based training, such as apprenticeships. For this to work, he said, we must have the right curriculum and the right links with employers or students who are most likely to be disaffected won't stay on.

The specialised diplomas could play a large part in this, but they must be fully funded and supported by industry and higher education.

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