Education: The Alternative Step for GCSE Students

In light of the recent 2017 GCSE exam results, it leads to question what kind of future will our younger generation ensue? For many, carrying on with education to then follow the pathway to a stable career seems to be the status quo, despite not being as simple or as successful as it sounds. However, according to a recent study, around a fifth of secondary school students drop out of school at 16 years old, straight after their GCSE exam results. With this in mind, TeacherBoards Community want to explore the opportunities that are available for 16 year old’s and over, and whether or not they are being funded or advertised enough for students.

There can be many reasons for the number of young students dropping out of education at a young age, one predominant one being the lack of opportunity. This lack of opportunity can be viable for both the individual or the eventuality. For example, according to an article written by The Telegraph, the number of students from poorer backgrounds that attend university are dropping in light of the tuition fee increase. This shows that, for the individual, opportunities to develop their qualifications may no longer be in the form of a University degree. Alternatively, there may not be many opportunities besides enrolling in A-level qualified that 16 year old’s are currently aware of.

Earlier in 2017 Prime Minister, Theresa May, unveiled her plans to expand on vocational studies and apprenticeships within the UK’s education system. This would include providing students (16 years and above) with a viable certification of experience that is a ‘credible alternative for young people who do not go to University‘ according to an article by The Guardian. There are also plans to boost funding with an additional £170 million to go towards technical education. If this new route to higher education was successful it could be the new alternative to a university degree.

Traineeships were introduced in 2013 and are aimed at younger students around 16 to 23 years of age. According to the official UCAS website, these traineeships span from anything over six weeks to six months and aim to provide appropriate and professional training to the individuals who partake. Students are able to gain the experience they need to start a career in a sector they choose without having to spend an extra 5 years in education that may not be deemed necessary for that individual.

With University fees being increased yet again and students beginning to be off put by the idea of excessive tuition, raising awareness for other credible opportunities would be the best step forward when its comes to prolonging a students education. Furthermore, unlike many University courses, high education alternative such as apprenticeships and trainee ships can be more hands on which is more suitable for learners that prefer practical, rather than technical, education.

University is becoming less mandatory as it has become less likely that you are guaranteed a position relevant to your degree once you have finished your course. With this in mind, along with a consistent increase in tuition fees, it’s important to promote a pathway for students who want to find a successful alternative to A-Level or University courses.

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