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Time to get technical?

At City of Bath College, 14- and 15-year-old students are a vital part of our community, and we are able to offer full-time vocational programmes to these young people, most of whom go on to further programmes here and rediscover their interest in learning.

I am, therefore, interested in the idea of what the Conservatives call "technical schools" for 14-19s. I can see that many youngsters now in the schools system would benefit from attending FE colleges full-time and am sure many in the sector will see this as an opportunity, rather than a threat.

But let us not be too flattered by the recognition this proposal gives the sector. If the idea is to become reality, it will require huge investment. We need a debate to see if this is what we want for our sector.

Let us welcome the development with caution. Our message to politicians must be clear: we are interested, but on our terms.

Matt Atkinson, Principal and chief executive, City of Bath College.

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