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Why vocational education calls out to everyone

From makeovers to mortar and Socrates to sheep, vocational education is broader than you might think. Clare Jarmy explains why it’s a matter of the head, hand and heart – leading to satisfaction and fulfilment

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Vocational education has been making headlines again recently. In March, the government announced that 13,000 courses currently running nationwide would be replaced with 15 vocational routes in specific career areas: so-called T levels.

We have come to call this “vocational”, as opposed to “academic”, education. Some students, we are told, suit vocational options better than academic routes. For many, the word vocation simply means hair and beauty rather than history, or construction rather than Classics.

What I want to call into question is not this kind of education per se, but the way we ...

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