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East Lancashire headteachers confused over resit plans
TEENAGERS who fail to gain a C grade in GCSE maths and English should be able to continue their studies in the workplace or under vocational training, according to educators.
Hundreds of thousands of youngsters in school and college have been told they will have to continue the subjects until the age of 18 if they do not gain a C.
Reaction in Lancashire has seen educators urge the government to reveal specific details of what the plan would entail. Headteachers said they supported the principle of the change but there was confusion about how it would be implemented.
Mark Bocker from Oswaldtwistle Short Stay School, a pupil referral unit, said many children were ‘round pegs in square holes’ at school.
He said: “Some children are not academic. I can imagine the look on their face if they were told they can’t give up maths and English for another two years.
“However, if it could be part of work-placed training, they would probably be fine with it. It all depends on the plan the government has on how to do it.
“I would like world peace - but it is the plan of how to do it which matters.”
Chris Lovell at North Lancs Training Group, an independent training provider, said the group’s new scheme to teach English and maths alongside vocational subjects responded to ‘a basic need’.
He said: “They are basic skills and it is not just employers who need them. It is really sad when young people can’t work out the right change or know how to budget for life.
“Our new scheme was introduced because we see how important a part of vocational training it will be from now on.”
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said: “Good literacy and numeracy skills are essential, not only for work, but for everyday life. However, given the cuts to post-16 education, we are concerned about how these additional classes will be funded. And where will the additional teachers come from to teach these subjects?”
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: “While it is of course desirable that young people gain GCSE passes in English and mathematics, there will be some, particularly those with special educational needs, for whom achieving a C grade will simply not be possible.
“It is critical that the government works with schools and colleges, to make sure what is on offer for young people is not just marching them in and out of the exam room.”
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