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Debating the first principles of English vocational education

Within the world of academic education, a huge amount of debate and work has taken place over recent decades to look at underlying questions about its purpose, the way in which knowledge and information is structured, the means of teaching and assessing and the role of education in society. This has been much less the case for vocational education. Society and the educational establishment have tended to view this as secondary to academic education and to jump straight into practical delivery rather than taking time to consider the underlying principles.

We wanted to kick start a real debate about the underlying principles and philosophy of English vocational education so that we can move away from instability towards a more settled and focused vision.

We are delighted to be working with a coalition of excellent partners to foster that debate – King’s College London, the Institute of Education, City and Guilds and the National Baccalaureate Trust. 

We were overwhelmed by responses to an initial consultation document that we published in early 2018. 

Building on those excellent responses, we hosted a Big Debate in March 2018, chaired by Chris Winch, Professor of Educational Philosophy and Policy at Kings College London – you can see highlights from that discussion in the following video:

Our report, Debating the First Principles of English Vocational Education, brings together some of the excellent contributions from the consultation and debate. It represents the next step in that journey, but we want this to be part of an ongoing discussion, with further opportunities to contribute to the debate during Autumn 2018 and beyond. Do get in touch with your reflections on the further questions set out in this report or to register your interest in taking part in future debates (