Education reform will hit county’s equine industry
Published at 13:08, Monday, 13 February 2012
SCRAPPING a number of NVQs could have a big impact on the Cumbrian equine industry, a rural academy has claimed.
The government announced plans to slash the number of vocational qualifications which will count towards a school's GCSE performance in league tables from 3,000 to 70.
Equine studies was among the thousands of GCSE equivalent NVQ qualifications to be cut.
Zara Myers, a director of Cumbria Rural Academy, in Backbarrow, says the move could see the link disappear between education and employment within the industry in this area.
She said: “A lot of the Schools Qualification students here move on to an apprenticeship with us at neighbouring Bigland Hall Equestrian or other yards in the area which we set up for them.
“With the loss of the NVQ that linkage will be lost. Those that want a career with horses will not have the easy step up.”
Miss Myers said Bigland Hall’s equestrian studies, the equivalent of three GCSEs, covers a broad syllabus, including maths and science, which helps lead to a job.
She said: “We have a lot of school students who have been excluded from school or aren’t doing well in the academic side of things so they come here to gain an alternative to their GCSEs.
“It’s not just a matter of GCSEs though, it’s the prospect of getting them ready for working life after school.
“When they come here, some realise that they can actually make something of themselves and it gives them something to work for.
“Some of them, if they didn’t have this, they wouldn’t have any qualifications.
“But this gives them a qualification in horse care and probably the chance to pursue a career with horses.
“It gives them a massive opportunity that they wouldn’t normally get in school.”
In a statement last week, Education Secretary Michael Gove, said: “The changes we are making will take time but will transform the lives of young people. For too long the system has been devalued by attempts to pretend that all qualifications are intrinsically the same.
“Young people have taken courses that have led nowhere.”
Qualifications which do not meet the set standards can still be offered by schools, but will not count in the league tables.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk