Drop-out culture

1st February 2008 at 00:00
You are right to point out that the Education and Skills Bill does not say schools will be banned from promoting A-levels ("They said ... We say", TES, January 18), which many publications incorrectly reported.

But what much of the media missed was that it will take more than "impartial" advice to ensure young people are willing to stay in education until 18, another proposition of the bill.

Engaging students with practice as well as theory from a young age is the only way to challenge and stimulate them so they will actively wish to continue in education beyond 16. By connecting with young people in this way, we can take steps to stem the drop-out culture.

Both vocational and academic courses have a role to play. Ministers should seize the chance this bill presents to treat the causes of dissatisfaction with education and ensure schools and colleges provide impartial advice on options.

Andy Powell, Chief executive, Edge educational foundation, London.

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