Sixth forms being squeezed by education policy, says former chief inspector

The government’s former chief schools inspector told a teacher conference he believes sixth forms are being squeezed by apprenticeships and the manic rush to create academies and free schools. London News Online reports.

Ex-Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw told the forum at Christ the King Sixth Form that colleges are doing better than schools for 16-18-year-olds, despite funding pressures.

But he warned that education is “running out of road in terms of raising standards”.

He said political attention had been monopolised by the drive to set up academies and free schools. He added: “The thrust has been to set up schools however small and underperforming, as long as they are academies or free schools. Or grammars – I could spend all day on that one.”

‘Your sector is being squeezed by drive to skills sector and manic rush to create academies and free schools.”

He added that there was a huge problem about capacity; a lack of teachers, and the high quality ones not being evenly spread. “It’s a resource issue,” said Sir Michael, who admitted none of his three children had decided to work in schools. “If we carry on like this we’re going to run out of teachers and road in terms of raising standards.”

Sir Michael added after the conference: “‘We need more money in education. You [the sector] can’t do much more with the resources you’ve got.”

Read more from Sir Michael Wilshaw Sixth forms being squeezed by education policy, says former chief inspector

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