ASCL responds to EPI warning of declining diversity in A level choices

14/09/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) and Royal Society on declining diversity in post-16 subject choices.
 
Commenting on the report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) and Royal Society on declining diversity in post-16 subject choices, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

The government has consciously narrowed post-16 subject choices by its disastrous decision to downgrade the value of AS-levels, and now intends to reduce student choice further by scrapping BTECs and similar qualifications.

“It has compounded this problem by imposing on post-16 education the largest falls in per-pupil funding of any sector of the education system since 2010.

“Subject diversity in post-16 education is not something that is just a vague nice-to-have cultural aspiration, but is important in terms of keeping open the options of young people. Some may have a clear idea of what they want to do in their lives at that age, but many will not do so and benefit from studying a broader range of subjects. It is interesting to see from the EPI research that greater subject diversity can lead to higher earnings.

“The government should restore the value of AS levels by once again making them a stepping stone to a full A-level, halt its plans to defund BTECs, and improve post-16 funding
.”