Scrapping the crappy courses

Most GCSE equivalents axed from school league tables

Ministers have cut the value of more than 3,100 vocational qualifications, ending their recognition in England's school league tables.
Universities began trimming the fat of their 'degrees for all' courses last year when it became apparent that students who were now forced to pay for their tuition, would no longer be opting for Mickey Mouse courses that would have no hope of preparing them for a career.

I wouldn't have expected schools to voluntarily follow suite so readily, but with a push from MPs, it looks like they will also be ditching the deadwood that allows pupils to pretend at achievement rather than working hard at it.

In opposition, David Cameron vowed to end the diploma if he came to power. That's one of the reasons why I (mistakenly) voted for him. It feels weird to see that promise coming to fruition when for the most part, the coalition has just picked up where Labour left off.
Courses such as a diploma in horse care can be worth the same as four GCSEs.
That's why it's a good thing they are going. Schools are not there to teach horse care, that's for the colleges and universities. Schools are supposed to teach life skills; educate you in things you will need for adult life, not how to look after a horse.

Reading, writing, maths, science. These are the core skills that every adult needs to make the best of their opportunities.
History, geography, literature. Learning about yourself, your country and your world.

Unfortunately though, some of these essential subjects can be boring to young people. There was a time when pupils were forced to learn them anyway. If they didn't concentrate in class, if they were disruptive, if they failed to complete their schoolwork and homework they were punished

Now our education system takes the easy road. If a child finds a subject boring, find something they like and teach them about that instead. If they are disruptive in maths class, put them in front of a horse. If they refuse to learn about Shakespear, offfer them something they will learn about, no matter how irrelevant to their education. And if you find something that will engage their brains, give them four GCSEs for the price of one. Never mind you didn't pass maths and English, your horse care diploma more than makes up for it. 
Other examples of courses that will not be included in future league tables are the level 1 certificate in practical office skills;
Ahh yes, the level on Gofer. Best learned in an office environment.
the BTEC level 2 extended certificate in fish husbandry;
 In school, not college?
and the level 2 certificate in nail technology services,
Really? How much technology is there in a nail. It's long, sharp and holds wood together....oh...
all currently worth two GCSEs.

Which does nothing more than devalue real GCSEs in my opinion.

But from 2014, only 70 "equivalents" will count in the tables' headline GCSE measure and on a like-for-like basis with GCSEs.
The government says this has created "perverse incentives" for schools to offer them and boost their position.
The move could make schools less likely to continue to offer such qualifications, and the government has instructed them to wait for its final list before changing their timetables for September 2012.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said the changes would extend opportunity because only qualifications which had demonstrated rigour, and had track records of taking young people into good jobs or university, would count in the future.
Getting children to pass something, just so they have qualifications when they leave school is doing so much more harm than good. A piece of paper that says degree or diploma or GCSE is worth nothing without the skills and knowledge needed.

Children are not, and never have been at school to learn about the things that they like and the things that interest them only. They are there to learn the things they need for life.

Adults decide what those things are, or at least they did, because a child will pick like over dislike every time.
Others feared the move might undervalue vocational qualifications altogether and have a negative impact upon disengaged young people who are often encouraged by such courses.
I'm not really sure what disengaged means but I'll assume it means can't be bothered with school. Teachers should not be encouraging 'disengaged' young people by allowing them to learn whatever the hell they want and ignore the rest. Teachers should be 're-engaging' those children by insisting they become involved in the education that is given to them. With punishment if necessary. Children need clear boundaries discipline and rules in education, not the choice to do as they please.
Prof Wolf said: "Vocational studies can form a stimulating and demanding part of the curriculum. But pretending that all vocational qualifications are equally valuable does not bring them respect."
"Innit". Stop getting down wiv da yoof and give them a real education instead. Scrapping these courses will be a good start.


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