On the surface, Estelle Morris's plan to encourage less able pupils to take vocational courses post-14 (Platform,TES Feb 15th) is a good idea, since as every teacher knows, it is very difficult to transmit abstract concepts to non-academic pupils. The reality however, is that parents and pupils perceive vocational as second best and therefore inferior. We should also not delude ourselves that the "Mixed" pathway outlined by David Hargreaves will attract academically able pupils who know the score only too well.
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