Education reforms on the cards

PROPOSALS to integrate all 14-19 education in Suffolk in readiness for an increase in the school leaving age will mean more choice and opportunity for teenagers it is claimed.

PROPOSALS to integrate all 14-19 education in Suffolk in readiness for an increase in the school leaving age will mean more choice and opportunity for teenagers it is claimed.

The plan, which is part of a national programme to hand over all responsibility for all later years learning to local education authorities, will see 17 new specialised diploma courses offered in the county's schools and colleges as an alternative to A-levels.

In a report to the county council cabinet, the director for children and young people Rosalind Turner described the changes as “one of the most ambitious programmes of education reform since World War II.”

Mrs Turner said: “The changes are part of the Government's determination to raise participation and educational performance in the UK and to create a world-class education system capable of competing with the best in the world.”


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She said the 14-19 curriculums in Suffolk would see “a massive expansion of choice and opportunity for all young people.” In addition to A levels, GCSEs and apprenticeships, new specialised diplomas will be on offer in subjects such as languages, humanities, science, travel and tourism, sport and leisure, hair and beauty, engineering, and retail.

From 2010, the county council will assume full responsibility for all 14-19 education and training from the learning and skills council.

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Suffolk will set up three consortiums covering the north, west and south of the county with the aim of recruiting and training teaching staff for the new diplomas and apprenticeships, and to build stronger contacts with employers.

By 2013, when the school leaving age is raised to 17, the council will have to deliver the whole 14-19 curriculum for schools, colleges and training providers. Two years later, all youngsters aged 18 will have to take part in some form of structured education and training.

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