Education ‘snobs’ miss out on gifted tech pupils

According to Metro, top universities should open their doors to students who opt for vocational subjects instead of taking a more academic route, the education secretary has said.

Damian Hinds said we have become a nation of ‘technical education snobs’ and criticised Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group universities for rejecting potential undergraduates who took technical T-levels instead of A-levels.

He went on: ‘As a nation I’m afraid we’ve been technical education snobs. We’ve revered the academic but treated vocational as second-class — when we do it well, law, engineering, medicine — then we don’t even call it vocational.’

In a speech at Battersea Power Station, London, Mr Hinds said the UK needs to boost skills and productivity as it prepares to leave the European Union.

But he said a degree is not the only path to a successful career and schools that get pupils on to higher apprenticeships deserve as much praise as those sending students to universities.

New higher technical qualifications will be an alternative to a degree. Partnerships between employers, local authorities and schools will assess skills needed. He said: ‘The message here is not: “Don’t do a degree”. The message is: “You don’t have to do a degree”.’

Read more Education ‘snobs’ miss out on gifted tech pupils

Do you agree that vocational subjects are seen as second-class? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Emma

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