‘Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw has said all 16 to 19-year-olds should be educated in schools, during a parliamentary session in which he attacked the FE sector again.
He was speaking in front if MPs at an oral evidence session of the Education Committee, chaired by Neil Carmichael, this morning.
“My view is that 16 to 19 should be done in school,” the Ofsted boss said.
Vulnerable learners who need a familiar environment “head off towards the FE institution which is a large, amorphous institution on a number of campuses and do badly. They get lost. Drop out,” he continued.
Sir Michael said that schools moving together into a clusters provided a “really great opportunity” to ensure high quality vocational education.
“If I was running one of those I’d have primary schools, I’d have secondary schools and I’d have a couple of UTCs [university technical colleges] as well,” he said.
“I’d make sure the progression was good, and I’d know the vocational offer that we were providing was of high quality.”
His comments come six weeks after Sir Michael hit out at an “inadequate at best” FE sector during a speech for the thinktank CentreForum – criticism against which the sector subsequently defended itself.’ – FE Week
‘In response to Sir Michael’s comments, James Glendenning, CEO of Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (GMLPF) says: “It’s no surprise that Sir Michael Wilshaw has called for all 16-19 year olds to be educated in schools and not in FE institutions, given his recent criticism of the sector – criticism which has used personal anecdotes and opinions instead of relying on facts. Not only are his comments unsupported but they are also extremely unhelpful at the time when we should be looking for solutions for the country’s young people."’ – FE Community