Vocational students are being treated with contempt – again

England’s third national lockdown is an avalanche of news, affecting just about every bit of our lives. It’s a lot for anyone to grasp, but that’s still not an excuse for the fact that, once again, young people studying for technical qualifications such as BTECs have been ignored and let down. According to the Association of Colleges, around 135,000 students are due to take assessments or sit exams in colleges this week: some exams are due today. And while the Prime Minister in his televised address last night talked about school and the need to cancel summer exams such as GCSEs and A-levels, the Government currently considers that BTEC tests

Don’t forget about BTECs during the A-level circus

The summer ritual of A-level results day is so well known it’s easy to forget the thousands of students receiving their BTec National results. That’s the intro to a BBC News item on vocational qualification results issued today. It’s also the story of British culture and economics, told in a single, unwittingly revealing, sentence. Around 250,000 kids will get BTEC results today – that’s almost as many as the 300,000 or so who get A-level results. But of course, media and political attention paid to the latter group is vastly greater than the former. Why? Because BTECs are for other people: people who are poorer and whose parents didn’t do A-levels