David Russell

How can anyone dismiss our students as ‘rubbish’?

Shockingly, some senior figures in education still view young people who choose a vocational path as worthless

It is a privilege of my job as the chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation that I meet a lot of influential people in and around the education world. Often, we share assumptions about our shared endeavour, but sometimes I encounter attitudes that draw me up short.

To hear sincere, knowledgeable, well-meaning people talk about children who have performed well academically at 16 grope around for a short-hand to describe them, and then be satisfied with the word “bright”, still takes me aback.

As if no one with bad GCSEs were “bright”. As if academic attainment and intelligence ...

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