Skilled and Ready: what combined authorities want from schools (FORUM 2)

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Format: Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

RICHARD HATCHER

The purpose of combined authorities, driven by government, is economic growth and public sector reform. Economic growth requires improved productivity. The main obstacle, it is claimed, is a ‘skills deficit’, which schools need to address. In this article the evidence for this claim is examined. The real problem, it is argued, is a structurally low-skill, low-investment economy. What employers want from ‘non-academic’ school leavers is basic skills, ‘soft skills’ and positive attitudes to work. The contradiction with the Government’s EBacc-dominated curriculum creates a space for ’employability’ programmes in schools which may be promoted by combined authorities.

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