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ASCL Responds to Advanced British Standard, Stating 16 Sectors Require Resources Over Reform

Credits: YoungMinds

Kevin Gilmartin, who specializes in Post-16 education at the Association of Schools and College Leaders, has raised apprehensions regarding the government’s strategy in reshaping the post-16 education domain.

While acknowledging the overdue attention given to the sector through initiatives like the Advanced British Standard (ABS), Gilmartin believes the current approach is fundamentally flawed.

According to Gilmartin, the decision to introduce a new qualification without prior consultation on the principles guiding 16-19 education is misguided. He argues that any reform efforts are unlikely to succeed without sufficient input from educators and stakeholders.

Educational System (Credits: FE Week)

Gilmartin emphasizes the need for a collaborative process to determine the content and focus of post-16 education rather than relying solely on introducing new qualifications.

Moreover, Gilmartin highlights the urgent need for resources in the post-16 sector, particularly investment in teachers, infrastructure, and per-student funding.

He asserts that the government’s focus on reforms, such as defunding specific qualifications like BTECs, risks destabilizing the system and undermining pathways many students value.

Classroom students (Credits: YoungMinds)

Gilmartin believes that prioritizing resources over further reforms is essential for ensuring the stability and effectiveness of the post-16 education system.

Gilmartin expresses concern that the government’s proposal for the ABS, which would replace A-levels and T-levels in the future, adds to the uncertainty surrounding post-16 education.

He calls for a more measured approach that prioritizes collaboration, resource allocation, and stability to address the sector’s current challenges.

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