Led by Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt, Labour MPs have highlighted the inadequacies of our education system and urged the Government to initiate a cross party review of 14-19 education.
The fact is we have the biggest skills gap in the developed world. Our current education system is too narrow and too focused on academia. We provide too many short-term, low quality apprenticeships. We are failing to equip young people in our country for adult life and the jobs which our economy will offer in the future.
As a party we are making it a priority to ensure all young people leave education with sufficient skills so they can compete with the best in the world. The only way to do this is to reform our education system. That’s why on Wednesday we put the case to the Government to set out a more ambitious strategy for improving technical education.
Labour believes in introducing a 14-19 framework with four key elements. Firstly, a core curriculum including GCSEs, A-levels and accredited vocational qualifications, which offer guaranteed progression into further study, a high quality apprenticeship or employment. Secondly, a requirement to study Maths and English up to the age of 18. Thirdly, a programme of personal skill development. Finally, the chance for all young people to undertake an extended programme on the same level as an International Baccalaureate.
We believe that these four ingredients provide a simple and compelling educational structure at all levels for all students; those on academic and vocational tracks, high achievers and those needing extra support.
Labour will not rest until everybody in Britain is able to leave school and college with qualifications that prepare them for a life of work; the opportunity to fulfil their potential and the chance to offer a positive contribution to our country.