ASCL comment on EPI report on technical education

05/03/2020
Kevin Gilmartin, post-16 and colleges specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) comments on the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report, ‘An international comparison of technical education funding systems’.
 
Commenting on the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report, ‘An international comparison of technical education funding systems’, Kevin Gilmartin, post-16 and colleges specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said:

The EPI report highlights how years of underfunding in technical education, particularly in the 16-19 phase, has resulted in the UK falling behind high-performing countries around the world. 

While the government deserves credit for giving technical education a greater focus through the introduction of T Levels, this does not go far enough as these qualifications will only be taken by a small minority of 16-19 students. 

We need to look again at our qualification system to place more value on technical education from an earlier age by giving it genuine parity of esteem with academic subjects.

In addition, while we welcome the recent announcement of an extra £400m government funding for 16-19 education, including extra money on technical education, this will, at best, only reverse a quarter of the cuts that have been imposed since 2010-11. 

The EPI report’s conclusions are clear, and echo what ASCL has been calling for – that substantial levels of additional government funding is desperately needed if the country is serious about investing in the future of our young people. We urge the Chancellor to use the upcoming budget to address this challenge.