Tomorrow is A-level results day and we expect to see the usual media headlines of (pick your favourite):
- pretty girls waving their amazing results around with huge smiles on their faces
- worried parents wondering whether their teenagers will go to uni or stay at home (and perhaps get a job?)
- liberal politicians congratulating the hard efforts of young people
- conservative politicians bemoaning the continued drop in standards compared to when they were at school
I somewhat provocatively wrote in a previous post that qualifications are irrelevant.
What matters are the outcomes of education and the real benefits that accrue from these. For this reason my business, behr outcomes, has been advocating localised strategic education partnerships in England. They should be in place everywhere to help fill the missing ‘middle tier’ and offer real choice in post16 outcomes to all young people, whatever their circumstances. So hats off to those who get the A-level results they deserve, but let’s not forget that employability skills are about more than being able to recall knowledge on demand, admirable though that is.
Ofsted will introduce directors in all 9 English Regions. Great news, but they need to link in to a lower level of operation within the education system, especially now that academies and free schools are proliferating and local authorities are re-evaluating their own roles, which may be limited to providing a safety net for the least able.
This localised level also needs to be strategic, but most importantly it needs to be about real partnerships between Heads, employers, universities, parents, teachers (and dare I say it, the students themselves?).