Curriculum 'remains too academic’, House of Lords told

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Curriculum 'remains too academic’, House of Lords told

The Baroness Sharp of Guildford argued that the secondary school curriculum ‘remains too academic’ in her final speech about poverty and education last week in a House of Lords debate about the causes of poverty.

Baroness Sharp said: “We know that many young people find it ?easier to learn abstract concepts from practical experience rather than by cognitive reasoning, yet much practical learning has been banished from that curriculum. Too many young people end up demotivated by their secondary school experience, put off classrooms and learning and anxious to get out into the world and earn real money, but—and this is vital—with low expectations and aspirations.”

After nearly 18 years as a Liberal Democrats Peer, Baroness Sharp also highlighted the link between ‘the lack of education as a cause of poverty’, and how vital it was that young people achieved qualifications to be able to access well paid employment. She highlighted the problem that ‘vocational education is seen as second best to academic’ and argued that colleges often take from schools some of the more challenging young people so it was ‘absurd’ that they received less funding per pupil compared to schools. Finally, she blamed the ‘constant churn of policy’ which ‘put everything on hold for a year or so’ while old policies were undone and made void and new ones created.

ASDAN’s range of curriculum programmes and qualifications has provided a means of developing and recognising the achievement of soft skills for over 35 years and our charitable objective includes the relief of poverty, where poverty inhibits opportunities for learners.

ASDAN’s programmes also enable young people to ‘learn by doing’ and our courses help develop confidence and self-esteem in students by rewarding them for what they know rather than what they don’t.