Vocational education needs a new toolkit

T levels could finally fix the academic-vocational divide, writes Mary Curnock Cook – but the needs of pupils need to be addressed much earlier

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The academic-vocational divide needs bridging with new approaches to literacy and numeracy.

Academic subjects are easily defined and relatively stable over time. Vocational disciplines, by contrast, range over an ever-changing landscape of sectors, technologies, techniques, and working practices. Awarding bodies attempt to cover this landscape by creating hundreds of vocational qualifications that many students and employers don’t understand – falling back time after time on the trusted currency of GCSEs and A levels as the lead indicator of capability to progress to higher education or to ...

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