Pupils are to be encouraged to take tough subjects under a plan to link specific courses to earnings as adults. This is from the Telegraph…
The initiative is expected to influence children to choose mathematics and science over “soft subjects”, such as media studies, by disclosing which lead to the best-paid jobs.
The scheme is set out in the Education (Information Sharing) Bill, which would allow officials to match adults’ tax records with their educational and career achievements – something that is currently prohibited under data protection laws. Individuals are not expected to be identified.
The data will be presented online to help give pupils better guidance when choosing their GCSE options at the age of 14 and their A level courses two years later. It will also cover vocational qualifications, apprenticeships and university degrees.
The Department for Education insisted the move was part of the Government’s “commitment to transparency” but it is also likely to be seen as a further attempt to promote core academic disciplines and high-quality vocational courses.
David Laws, the Schools Minister, said: “Information on the earning power of different courses and subjects is vital for young people as they plan their careers.
“This will mean they can make well-informed choices about the institutions they attend, the qualifications they take, and the subjects they choose.”
The changes are set out in a Private Members’ Bill brought forward by Andrew Selous, the Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire.
It has the backing of the Coalition and has won strong support within the DfE.
The Education (Information Sharing) Bill would enable officials to analyse the earnings of all taxpayers in the UK and find out what they studied at school and college – something that is currently prohibited under data protection laws.
Mr Selous said: “I see this Bill as being really helpful to every family in the country when they have to make critical decisions on where children go to study, in terms of getting the right employment outcomes for them.”
What do you think of this idea? Is it realistic to imagine the data will be anything like as clear, simple and meaningful as the article suggests? What impact do you think it will have on subject choices?