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Thread by @toadmeister: "Hi Sam. The reasons are in the report which you can read here: cps.org.uk/files/reports/… But in summary: 1/ Urgent need for more school lea […]"

, 22 tweets, 7 min read
Hi Sam. The reasons are in the report which you can read here: cps.org.uk/files/reports/…
But in summary:
1/ Urgent need for more school leavers with technical qualifications to fill vacancies in skilled jobs (3.6 million *additional* vacancies predicted by 2022 according to @ukces)
2/ At present, main providers of 14-19 technical/vocational education (UTCs and studio schools) are failing. Of 112 that have opened since 2011, 35 have failed so far. The problem, according to @IPPR, is that they're locked in 'cycle of decline' ippr.org/files/2017-06/…
3/ Failure to recruit sufficient pupils in Y10 means they have no choice but to accept low-attaining, hard-to-teach children dumped in them by neighbouring secondaries. That, in turn, means they get bad Ofsted reports and poor exam results, which makes it even harder to recruit.
4/ Here's the relevant diagram from the @IPPR report illustrating this 'cycle of decline':
5/ These challenging students are ill-served by UTCs and studio schools, which lack the capacity to cope with their often complex needs. They are being 'off rolled' by cynical headteachers before their poor GCSE results can affect the schools' league table positions.
6/ How do we break this 'cycle of decline' and put a stop to this 'off rolling'? By allowing UTCs and studio schools to select students according to aptitude for their occupational specialisms.
7/ It would lead to a swift improvement in their exam results and a corresponding improvement in their Ofsted ratings – which, in turn, would make it easier to recruit in future years. Might even lead to an immediate boost in numbers.
8/ At present, potential pupils and their parents are put off, not just because of poor results, but also because they worry some kids currently being admitted – struggling students off-loaded by neighbouring comps – pose a threat to their kids' safety as well as their education.
9/ See @Ofstednews report on @UTCharburside, the most recent UTC to announce closure, which flagged up "bullying" as one of the reasons for rating it 'Inadequate' files.api.beta.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/2783477
10/ Not fanciful to think that potential pupils and parents would find UTCs and studio schools more attractive if they stopped being used as dumping grounds by neighbouring comps and only admitted pupils with a passion and aptitude for the type of education they specialise in.
11/ England's two most successful 14-19 technical/vocational schools – @TheBRITSchool and @imagineBOA – both select students according to aptitude and both are over-subscribed, get above average exam results and have above average destination data.
12/ Internationally, some of the most successful technical/vocational schools – such as the magnet career academies in Bergen County, New Jersey and South Korea's Meister Schools – are 100% selective by aptitude.
13/ Historically, the reason Britain's technical/vocational schools have foundered is because they've generally been regarded as second-best alternatives for children of below average ability who cannot cope with traditional academic subjects.
14/ If these schools are to succeed, we need to break the Gordian Knot linking technical/vocational education to academic failure. We should not regard kids as being suited to this type of education simply because they are *unsuited* to studying academic subjects.
15/ In practice, that means the metropolitan elite regarding them as only appropriate for 'other people's children' (which, incidentally, is the title of @barnabylenon's new book on this type of education amazon.co.uk/Other-Peoples-…)
16/ Instead, we need to think of children’s flair for practical subjects as a positive rather than a negative, not inversely proportional to academic ability, and encourage those who possess it to consider applying to these schools regardless of their academic track record.
17/ Quickest way to break this Gordian Knot and boost the status of technical/vocational education is to allow UTCs and studio schools to select.
18/ Not only would it save the remaining UTCs and studio schools and make it possible to set up successful 14-19 specialist schools (a BRIT in every major English city), it would complement the Government's efforts to revitalise post-16 technical/vocational education.
19/ This reform would be of a piece with introduction of T-levels and Institutes of Technology, creating a new prestigious pathway that begins with entrance to a selective UTC or studio school at 14, then leads to course of T-level study and a place at an Institute of Technology.
20/ Allowing UTCs and studio schools to select – and setting up more selective 14-19 specialist schools – would not require an Act of Parliament, as creating more grammar schools would. Perfectly legal for @DamianHinds to grant them this latitude tomorrow.
21/ @ImagineBOA, a 14-19 technical/vocational academy, opened in 2011 and is 100% selective by aptitude – proof there's no legal obstacle.
22/ With a stroke of his pen, @DamianHinds could do more to boost the status of technical/vocational education than any Education Secretary has done in the past 100 years. Given imminent departure from EU, and falling numbers of skilled migrants, that should be a priority. ENDS
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