While there has been considerable debate over the principles and philosophy of academic education, much less debate has centred around vocational education, leading to a state of constant policy flux and instability across the sector. This report is part of a series which seeks to remedy this gap. Through this we hope to debate, question and challenge the underlying principles and philosophy of vocational education in order to move away from instability and towards a more settled vision of vocational education.
This debate builds on our first volume ‘Debating the First Principles of English Vocational Education’ where we explore unresolved tensions around the esteem, position and delivery of high quality vocational education. Some of the key messages coming out of this second debate:
- Access to Vocational Education and Training (VET) should begin before the age of 16
- Highlight the distinctiveness of VET and its unique objectives, curriculum and pedagogy
- Vocational education must rest on a strong foundation of a broad general education
- VET is one of the many solutions to tackling productivity and social justice - but it cannot alone solve all of society’s problems
Chris Winch (Kings College London), Olly Newton