Commenting on the Report published today by Policy Exchange on reforming apprenticeships, Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT says: “We know that any new courses, academic or vocational, must be based on quality. When the focus is on numbers of students choosing a particular path, rather than the quality of the courses they are taking, it is right to ask questions about whether this is the right way around. Quality education in itself will attract students, but poorly designed courses could have the opposite effect and could further widen the gap in esteem people have for vocational as opposed to academic disciplines.
“As well as ensuring apprenticeships offer a credible training route into work, we also need to focus on what is happening at secondary. It is crucial that we retain a broad and balanced curriculum, including subjects such as design and technology, something the EBacc threatens to undermine. There also needs to be high-quality careers advice, giving young people the information they need on future education and training routes, and the employment opportunities these open up.”