14–16 Year Olds Taking Vocational Courses in English Colleges: A Dumping Ground for the Disengaged or a Real Alternative?

  • Norman Lucas

This chapter focuses on the large influx in 2005 of approximately 120,000 14–16 year olds entering English1 further education (FE) colleges to pursue vocational qualifications. The chapter argues that, although there have been ad hoc arrangements in the past, the Increased Flexibility Programme (IFP) introduced in 2002 represents the first initiative by the British Government to bring about partnerships between schools and colleges. The evidence suggests that the scheme is overwhelmingly intended for those ‘not doing well’ at school and that vocational qualifications are seen, yet again, for the ‘less able’ and the disengaged. However, both pupils and parents express positive views about the scheme and as many as 90% of IFP learners continued their studies after 16. These responses have been critically analysed, suggesting that asking disaffected school pupils if they like getting out of school is likely to record a positive response no matter what the scheme.


Vocational Education English College Free School Meal Special Educational Need Initial Teacher Education Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Lucas
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Lifelong Education and,International DevelopmentInstitute of Education, University of,LondonUnited Kingdom

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