Latest News

News and Events > Latest News > "Independent schools must give BTECs equal prominence to A Levels" - Telegraph article by Milton Abb

"Independent schools must give BTECs equal prominence to A Levels" - Telegraph article by Milton Abbey's Headmaster

An article featured in the Telegraph today, written by Milton Abbey's Headmaster, stresses that vocational courses must no longer be overlooked.

"When I was choosing my degree", says Mr Bashaarat, "the only 'vocational' course I recall was theology as preparation for the priesthood.  But vocational courses, and vocational learning, are now taking centre stage in the educational debate.

Vocational qualifications are highly rated by universities and employers alike but are overlooked and misunderstood by independent schools and parents; the time has come to give them equal prominence alongside A Levels and the IB...There is too much emphasis on theory, experts have said, and not enough practise."

Whilst results show that vocational courses at university are becoming increasingly popular, and with over a quarter of students accepted to university holding at least one BTEC in their set of qualifications in 2015, vocational learning still suffers from an image problem and many parents don't have the correct information about the career opportunities available through studying BTECs.  Mr Bashaarat comments, "BTEC Levels 1 and 2 are equivalent to GCSEs, and Level 3 is equivalent to A Levels.  A sixth form student who studies one Level 3 BTEC at Extended Diploma will get the equivalent of three A Levels in terms of the UCAS tariff.  But most parents are utterly in the dark regarding BTECs and the pathways for learners that they can open up."  He continues, "But 'vocational' itself has an image problem, with most middle class parents assuming it means becoming a plumber or hairdresser."

Click here to read the article in full.


Headmaster of Milton Abbey, Magnus Bashaarat