The value of ex­ams

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - EDITORIAL -

AS WE ap­proach exam re­sults sea­son, brace your­self for plenty of soul-search­ing about the value of qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

While the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion’s pri­or­ity has been the re­formed A lev­els, col­leges have had other is­sues to deal with. Not least, money. This is one rea­son why many have been forced to ditch sub­jects, as the As­so­ci­a­tion of Col­leges’ sur­vey of prin­ci­pals, in part­ner­ship with Tes, re­veals (see story, op­po­site).

But other re­ports this week show the re­la­tion­ship be­tween qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ca­reer suc­cess is com­plex. The Im­pe­tus-pef youth jobs in­dex high­lights that the lower the level of qual­i­fi­ca­tion, the more likely it is an in­di­vid­ual will spend a long pe­riod Neet (not in ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment or train­ing). Just 10 per cent of peo­ple with a level 4 spend six months or more Neet, com­pared with 26 per cent of peo­ple with lower than level 2.

Mean­while, the IPPR think­tank says that 5.1 mil­lion Bri­tons are, ef­fec­tively, too ed­u­cated for their jobs. This is a use­ful re­minder that the value of ed­u­ca­tion is not just eco­nomic. As the Sixth Form Col­leges’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s CEO, Bill Watkin, points out, turn­ing ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions into “exam fac­to­ries” ben­e­fits no one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.