Three new “career colleges” opening to offer 14-year-olds vocational option

The Times is reporting on vocational career options being provided by “career colleges”, of which the first three will be opening this month…

A new specialist school to prepare teenagers for work in the catering industry from 14 has been given last-minute approval to open this month as a “career college”.

Bromley College in Kent is a career-focused school for children aged 14 to 18 and it will be the third of its kind to open. Two others, Hugh Baird College in Liverpool, specialising in hospitality, and Oldham College, offering digital arts, have been approved and are also scheduled to open this month.

The trio will pioneer an experiment in vocational education championed by Lord Baker of Dorking, the former education secretary, and will offer alternatives to secondary school for children aged 14 upwards.

Working in partnership with industry and higher education, Lord Baker has already founded University Technical Colleges (UTCs) which specialise in science, engineering, technology and construction and a further 13 UTCs will open this month.

A further 12 studio schools are also to begin teaching. These are small schools of up to 300 teenagers aged 14 to 18, with a working day from 9-5pm and a focus on enterprise and preparing young people for the workplace…

The Career Colleges Trust, the newest sponsor of 14-18 schools, has taken a conscious decision to grow slowly and originally delayed approval of the hospitality, food and enterprise college at Bromley owing to concerns about its original application. However, yesterday its board approved a revised submission and five others are scheduled to open in a year’s time.

The trust’s caution is tempered, in part, by a more cautious approach for Lord Baker’s plan for UTCs after several UTCs struggled to recruit — students and one, in Hackney, east London, closed in July because of —“unviable” student numbers…

Lord Baker conceived the idea for career colleges after visiting the Food and Finance High School, the only culinary high school in New York, which offers 430 teenagers aged 14 to 19 an academic education and specialist classes in catering…

More at: Colleges offer 14-year-olds vocational option (subscription required)


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This is catering (pun intended) for more young people so must be good but flies in face of govt school, college, uni mantra

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