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Ministers accused of indecision on vocational education


College chiefs responsible for twice as many 16-19 year olds as schools are claiming that Ministers lack a coherent strategy for post-14 and post-16 education.

Speaking at a conference in London, David Gibson, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: "We are calling into question whether Government really knows what it wants or what it thinks about a coherent strategy for post 14 and post 16 education. Recent outbursts suggest Government is hoping to downgrade colleges' claims for a decent funding settlement this time round. How does that match with the new claims on colleges signalled in the Green Paper? You cannot get a skills revolution on the cheap. We cannot let the big picture be lost in a spasm of small mindedness."

"I am looking to the Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning today to explain the purpose of her negative spin on college performance when at exactly the same time, Ofsted is saying that over 90% of teaching and learning and leadership and management is already at least satisfactory."

The Association of Colleges represents 99 per cent of all further education and sixth form colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, teaching over 4 million students. Among, colleges have 675,000 students aged 16-19, compared with 400,000 in schools.


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