Middle-class parents should open their minds to learning when their children receive their Level A results tomorrow, Gavin Williamson has said.
The education secretary previously criticized the “inherent snobbery” toward higher education, saying some families expected their children to go to college as a “rite of passage.”
The number of dropouts applying to college has increased by 10 percent in one year, and the number of courses available through compensation at select colleges has dropped by a third.
Yesterday Sir Keir Starmer said that “chaos and incompetence” had created additional stress for students as they awaited results, after exams were canceled for the second year in a row.
While at least 80 percent of candidates are expected to get their first-choice college, elite institutions have been more cautious about making offers and some are recruiting fewer students after taking more last year or have promised places. those who postponed.
Last month’s analysis by Trends Research showed that the offer rate at selective colleges had dropped from nearly three-quarters of applicants to just over two-thirds.
Theresa May condemned perceptions of apprenticeships as for “other people’s children,” but middle-class attitudes toward apprenticeships were changing, Williamson said.
He said college was “just one of many options young people should consider to help them make the best decision to pursue world-class careers, including the ability to undertake an apprenticeship alongside traditional college courses. Learnings are seen in a new light. About four out of five students who get results [this week], but they are not planning to start a traditional career, they have considered an apprenticeship and a fifth say it is their main plan.
“These figures may suggest a shift in middle class attitudes towards apprenticeships and that would be a huge and welcome change that will benefit young people and our companies, who are desperate for the skills that apprenticeships can provide.
“Apprenticeships can also open many doors, combining high-quality training with a job and providing the high-level skills that employers demand. Many world-class careers have been built on solid learning and, in some cases, salaries exceed the earnings of graduates. I urge parents to be open-minded when advising on next steps and exploring all options to find the right path for their child. “
He said it had been “essential to ensure that all students could receive grades this year” due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic.
Students have been assessed at GCSE and A-levels only on what they learned, but Starmer said Williamson and Boris Johnson had not acted early enough to ensure this summer’s earnings trading runs smoothly.
Starmer said: “It frustrates me immensely that this week’s great moment in the lives of so many young people is being jeopardized by chaos and incompetence at the top of this government.”
Last night, one of Britain’s leading educational philanthropists noticed that too many young people were going to college. Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, told The Daily Telegraph that the number of students dropping out of school and looking for places at the university was a “massive” problem for the country’s finances. “Too many graduates come out with a lot of debt, the debt levels are astronomical, and in many cases they come out with skills that the market doesn’t want,” he said.
The Department of Education said: “Exams are the best form of assessment, but in the absence of them this year, there is no one in a better position to judge the abilities of young people than their teachers, who see them day after day.”