What is the Government's policy on Vocational Education?

The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has challenged the Opposition spokesman, Stephen Twigg, to "state which recommendations from the Wolf review you believe we have not implemented".

The Edge Foundation broadly welcomed the Wolf Report. We agreed that the quality and status of vocational qualifications needed to be improved. We agreed that young people should be encouraged to take those vocational qualifications which best support achievement and progression.

At the same time, we had reservations about certain aspects of Prof Wolf's analysis and recommendations. For example, we believe she was wrong to dismiss evidence from teachers that vocational courses can boost some young people's motivation, achievement and progression to further learning. We also pointed out flaws in her analysis of work-related learning in Key Stage 4.

The Government stated publicly that it accepted all the recommendations in Prof Wolf's report. Edge suspected that in reality, some recommendations would be implemented only in part - and that some would not be implemented at all.

Given the Secretary of State's challenge to Stephen Twigg, this seems a good moment to take stock of the 27 recommendations set out in the Wolf Report. In the a new report, we give our assessment of whether the recommendations have been implemented, and add comments on a number of them.

Our conclusion is that while the Government has made considerable progress, it cannot claim to have implemented the Wolf Report in full.


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