The Wolf Report

This week a report commissioned by the government has come out which calls for a decreased emphasis on vocational courses. The Wolf Report suggests that students under 16 should focus on academic subjects and that vocational courses should not be counted on school league tables.

The report recommends that low attaining learners should concentrate on the core academic skills of English and Maths, and on work experience. Funding and performance measures should focus on these core skills and on employment outcomes rather than on getting qualifications.

The report also challenges the value of many vocational courses available to 16-19 year olds suggesting that they don’t help students prepare for the future.

Another recommendation of the report is that 16-19 education should be funded on a per student basis rather than per course as is done at the moment.

If the report’s recommendations are taken up the impact for many disabled students is likely to be huge, however the impact has the potential to be both positive and negative depending how the education system would choose to implement them.

On the one hand the recommendations could give disabled students a way to put pressure on schools and colleges to get on to courses of their choice rather than being forced to do the same courses multiple times.  However the recommendations could be used as a means to further exclude disabled students from the mainstream by removing vocational options from many mainstream schools.

Do you think that vocational courses are important?

Do they act as a barrier or enabler to disabled students?


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