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Ofsted chief: schools need help from industry on vocational qualifications


The Financial Times reports that new Chief Inspector of Ofsted Mike Tomlinson has issued a call to companies to become more involved in developing the new vocational GCSEs and A-Levels.

Tomlinson wants companies to work closely with schools, and even help deliver the new qualifications, after he expressed concerns that the new curriculum needed more involvement to ensure it was relevant to the workplace. The first batch of students began the new A-Level qualifications in September, with the new GCSEs due to come on stream in 2002. He is quoted in the paper as saying: "There is a need to get industry ivolved in the 14-19 curriculum, particularly the development of the vocational side. I also wonder whether those qualifications are precisely what industry and commerce actually want."

Tomlinson added that schools were in part responsible for making sure that companies understood what was required of them in terms of assistance and guidance: "I think schools have got to get a lot smarter in thinking through carefully what they want from industry. It's too easy to say we want your support. Industry and commerce haven't got the time to give lots of it to sorting out what schools want."

The Chief Inspectors comments come as Ofsted prepares to take on additional responsibilities related to the inspection of further education colleges.


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