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Vocational element for 14-plus

Last week you reported that, at our recent conference (organised by RSA Examinations Board, not the Royal Society of Arts, incidentally), Nick Tate of the School Curriculum and Assessment Council expressed the view that schools which choose not to offer vocational courses in key stage 4 were "making a perfectly sensible choice".

RSA was pleased to be able to organise an event which enabled heads and teachers to appreciate the fact that, at senior levels within the Office for Standards in Education and elsewhere, there are still those who wish to draw clear distinctions between the so-called "academic" and the so-called "vocational".

For our part, however, we believe that the curriculum for all post-14 should have a vocational dimension, but that the way in which schools mediate that entitlement to individual pupils will vary according to individual interests and motivation. So too, RSA believes that the curriculum for those in KS4 is likely to differ from the curriculum for a 17-year-old: but the former should be a sensible preparation for the latter with obvious progression links.

MARTIN CROSS

Chief executive

RSA Examination Board

Westwood Way, Coventry

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