Schools Urged to Combine Vocational and Academic Study

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Home Learning College research reveals demand for more varied curriculum

"In certain subjects, such as IT, gaining a recognised vocational qualification prior to leaving school will deliver a real competitive advantage to any young person entering the work force, whether at 16, 18 or 21.” Dave Snow, Home Learning College

The majority of Brits would welcome a more balanced national curriculum, with all pupils studying a mix of academic and vocational subjects, according to research released today by Home Learning College. Just over two thirds (68%) of adults would like to see more vocational training offered in schools alongside conventional classes. The survey also found that 66% of parents would encourage their children to take vocational courses in conjunction with GCSEs and A Levels.

These findings are released in the wake of the Wolf report, which criticised schools that push pupils towards vocational qualifications with little real value. The report specifically highlighted the damage done when core subjects, such as maths and English, are dropped at an early age.

Current failings in the education system are highlighted by the fact that 52% of respondents to Home Learning College’s survey said their formal education had not prepared them fully for working life. Topping the list of subjects people would most like to see offered in schools was IT & computing, followed by business and accounting.

“There’s no denying that the Wolf report raises pertinent questions about the value of many vocational courses currently being proffered as an alternative to less academically gifted pupils, ” says Dave Snow, Academic Director at Home Learning College. “However, our research shows that schools shouldn’t be tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water. In certain subjects, such as IT, gaining a recognised vocational qualification prior to leaving school will deliver a real competitive advantage to any young person entering the work force, whether at 16, 18 or 21.”

Home Learning College’s distance learning courses are all accredited by respected awarding bodies, including CompTIA, Microsoft, Adobe, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

John McGlinchey, Regional Sales Director for CompTIA, comments on how the non-profit accrediting body is working to raise the profile of vocational study in schools: “The CompTIA Authorized Academy Membership Program (CAPP Academy) provides resources and support to help schools deliver our internationally recognised certifications. Teachers can take advantage of free marketing materials, instructor resources and training, discounted exam vouchers and access to CompTIA’s academic and student portals. Running our courses in conjunction with traditional study options means pupils can gain a valuable, professional qualification that will really stand out their CV.”

Visit Home Learning College for more information on our range of professionally accredited home study courses (http://www.homelearningcollege.com/courses).

About Home Learning College
Home Learning College is the largest vocational distance learning provider in the UK, and is accredited by the National Union of Students (NUS), allowing its 65,000 students to enjoy the discounts and services available with the NUS Extra Card.

All Home Learning College courses lead to professional CV-enhancing, employer recognised qualifications, including AAT, Sage, CompTIA, Microsoft, ICB and CIW. Subjects covered include book-keeping, accounting, IT and computing, web design and many more.

Home Learning College students benefit from a dedicated in-house tutoring service and the Virtual Learning Community - an online learning environment which facilitates the delivery of course material and peer networking.

For more information on all courses visit Home Learning College, follow us on Twitter @home_learning or check out student testimonials and other video content on our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/homelearningcollege

Contact:
Tor Goldfield
Home Learning College Communications Manager
Tel: 020 8676 6258
Mobile: 07843 335606
Email: tor.goldfield(at)homelearningcollege(dot)com

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Tor Goldfield