Key skills has been a flop

6th April 2001 at 01:00
I am a 17-year-old student taking four AS-levels at Poynton high school where there is a lack of interest in key skills as Steve Hook mentions ("Fears that key skills curriculum will flop", FE Focus, March 2).

I have attended few key skills lessons. This is due to several factors. I have only two hours of free time a fortnight in school. I also face a heavy workload. This is because subject tutors are unsure of the amount of work demanded for the new AS-levels. Most have opted for a "better safe than sorry" policy: setting us an equally heavy workload to that of their previous A-level students who took fewer subjects. This has encouraged students to miss key skills lessons.

Another huge factor in students' lack of interest in key skills is that they appear pointless. They have little value when applying to higher eucation both in terms of points and the value that universities are likely to attach to them. It is also debatable whether employers will understand or value yet another new qualification.

I feel that key skills need restructuring. In lessons on the application of number we go over the same material we covered in the higher-level maths GCSE course. Having achieved a grade B at that level I do not find it important to go over that same ground. The time could be better spent on my AS subjects.

By the same token I feel I am wasting my time in communications lessons when three of my AS subjects are drama, English language and English literature.

Until these problems are addressed I cannot see students taking an interest in key skills.

Ellie Robinson

26 Market Street



Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now