Commenting on Ed Miliband’s proposals for education, in his speech today at Labour Party Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“If a Technical Baccalaureate is a step towards an over-arching diploma which recognises both vocational and educational achievement, this is to be welcomed, as are well-funded and meaningful apprenticeships.
“What is important for young people is for them to know that there is a parity of esteem between their successes. What must not happen is a system which forces children to choose which educational route they take at the age of 14 – this is neither necessary nor fair.
“We need a proper debate on the future of the examination system especially in light of the intention to increase school participation age to 18. It really is vitally important that teachers are consulted in this process. Failure to do so will continue down the path of change being implemented on whims and fancies, not sound educational evidence and advice.
“If the Labour Party is serious about an education system which benefits all and not the few, we need to see a reversal of the break up and privatisation of our schools system. It also needs to be well-funded. A world class education system cannot be built on the cheap.”