Please try to keep up, Libby

27th June 2008 at 01:00
Libby Purves is out of date and very unfair (Lee, a refreshing riposte to our exam-obsessed world, TES, June 20)
Libby Purves is out of date and very unfair (Lee, a refreshing riposte to our exam-obsessed world, TES, June 20). She comments on a strapline ("Success through qualifications") Edexcel dropped many years ago. We've used "Advancing learning, changing lives" to great effect now in our raising attainment messages.

Ironically too, the traits in her vocational hero from TV's The Apprentice - Lee McQueen - are those he will have honed through his Btec vocational qualification.

Btecs are Edexcel's own qualifications, taken by more than half a million students in schools and more than one and a half million overall this year.

Those same bright and supremely able students Libby talks about who risk being "crushed by the system", go on to gain academic success using Btecs as a stepping stone to the final year of degree courses around the world, or into the world of work where their vocational learning puts them ahead of their graduate contemporaries because of the work-based learning they have undertaken.

Btec students build a portfolio of evidence of "learning by doing", or as Libby puts it more succinctly - they have a "desire to learn by doing ... frustrated by their inability to engage with the paper world but hungry as hell for a bite of the real one".

Perhaps we will now adopt that as our new slogan.

Stevie Pattison-Dick, head of corporate communications, Edexcel, London.

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