The Department for Education is considering plans to introduce a new binary education system that defunds BTECs and other ‘applied general qualifications’.

Unnecessary risk

DfE conducted their own impact assessment and concluded that students from disadvantaged backgrounds ‘have the most to lose’ if the qualifications are defunded.

Geoff Barton, the General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the courses “provide a great pathway to university courses, training and careers”. He added that “it is a hugely unnecessary risk which will hit disadvantaged youngsters hardest”.

Impact on disadvantaged and BAME

Furthermore, a study by Dr. Graeme Atherton concluded that the new education system may have profoundly detrimental effects on disadvantaged and BAME students.

The key findings of the study assert that, under the new system: “Over a quarter of students from the lowest participation neighbourhoods may not enter Higher Education (HE); a third of black students and a quarter of Asian students may not enter HE; and widening access to HE may be set back ‘years or even decades’”.

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