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Britain’s education system would be better off under a Labour government

Our education system needs to change if we are to build the high-skill, high-wage economy we need to succeed as a country. We need to offer a clear, high quality vocational route right through education for young people wanting to pursue vocational and technical qualifications.

We face a national emergency in education. The attainment gap – the difference between the performance of socially disadvantaged children and their peers – has widened under this government and England’s international standing has stagnated in recent years. These worrying trends can be reversed by improving teacher quality and addressing the problems in vocational and apprenticeship education.

Labour has announced a series of policies that will transform teacher quality:

  • Ensuring all teachers gain Qualified Teacher Status      (QTS)
  • Ensuring teachers, in line with other high-status      professionals, have to revalidate as teachers in order to remain in the      classroom
  • Introducing a ‘Master Teacher’ status builds on      Labour’s focus on teacher quality reforms.

Labour will also raise the status and standards of vocational education and apprenticeships, providing better quality and quantity of educational opportunity and choice for our young people by:

  • Ensuring that all young people do some quality      vocational learning from age 14;
  • Introducing a new gold standard Technical Baccalaureate      for 16-19 year olds to provide a high status and clear vocational route      through education. The Tech Bacc will include quality level 3 (A’ level      standard) vocational qualifications accredited by employers and a work      placement, giving young people a quality vocational award to aim for at      18.
  • Introducing a universal gold standard for      apprenticeships so that we move towards a system where all apprenticeships      are Level 3 qualifications, last at least 2 years, and are focused on new      job entrants not existing employees;
  • Ensuring that every firm that wants a major government      contract offers apprenticeships;
  • Offering employers, working collectively through      reformed sector bodies, a ‘something for something’ deal – giving them      more control over apprenticeship standards and funding, and in return      asking that they create new gold standard apprenticeships in their sectors      and supply chains.

This forms a core pillar of One Nation Labour’s plans to mend the broken link between growth and living standards, so that we can earn our way out of cost-of-living crisis. This involves big reforms – not big spending – to address deep-rooted problems and create an economy that is made by the many, not just a few at the top.

Only Labour will make the big changes necessary to fix Britain’s education system, restoring teacher quality and ensuring a path to education, skills and employment for all.