The provision of education and training has been severely impacted by the deadliest pandemic in a century. Lockdown has impacted significantly on a generation which was already disadvantaged by a 20th Century paradigm of learning and development. Learners aspirations are unrealistic, informed by a system that sees success as being a university education as a result of rote learning and written exam performance. The disruption of the pandemic is a catalyst for much needed change. The opportunity is available for us to transform our education and training system in a paradigm shift that embraces diversity rather than focusing on equality. This where diversity is the recognition of individuals‚’ strengths and weaknesses.
1. Embrace the idea of vocational training as the norm.
2. Support the development of 21C technical vocational training rather than university.
3. Raise the profile of public service vocations and recognise these ‚’apprenticeships‚’ as the qualifications to aspire to. Examples include: NHS, Armed Forces, Environmental Agencies and Information Technologies.
4. Make schools places where citizenship is developed and where potential is nurtured. Places where the end state is not an exam but rather a starting point for public service vocations, and where appropriate identification of university potential is exceptional.
5. Reserve academic exams as passing in assessment only for those who demonstrate a gift for further academic development.
4. Reserve university places for, at most, a third of the population. Maximising the world class standards of our research.
5. Create a pathway from career success back into university at masters level but only where experiential job base learning has been demonstrated. In this way reinforcing the link between business and academia.
6. Transform many universities into Citizenship Development Hubs. Engaged with public services and industry in the achievement of individual potential and societies needs.
Do it now.