ASCL comment on Toby Young report

15 August 2018

Commenting on the report by Toby Young, ‘Technically Gifted: How selection can save technical and vocational education’, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“The introduction of University Technical Colleges and studio schools has been poorly thought out and poorly executed by the government and it is hard to see how the introduction of selection would improve matters. These schools often struggle to recruit sufficient numbers of students to make them viable. This is chiefly because their entry point is at the age of 14 when the rest of the education system is geared towards entry points at 11 and 16. The idea that the introduction of selection would overcome this barrier by making them more attractive requires a significant leap of faith in the power of selection. They are most likely to work when they are part of coordinated local education plans. The government should have developed such a strategy at the outset before it incurred a great deal of expense, and students and staff suffered a great deal of disruption as a result of closures.”