More studio schools to open in England next year
A round of studio schools are being set up in England next September where young people will be able to combine core GCSEs with real work experience. The government has revealed the 13 institutions - which are being backed by more than 100 major national and local employers - will allow 14 to 19-year-olds to mix vocational training at companies like the UK Space Agency, the National Trust and the RSPCA with everyday studies. As well as offering GCSEs in core subjects such as English, Maths and Science, the 14,000 students who attend the schools will also benefit from "a more practical way of learning". According to schools minister Lord Nash, more employers are getting involved in studio schools and demonstrating their commitment to preparing teenagers for the world of work. "It is crucial for young people to have the skills and experience vital to employers, both for their own prosperity and to help us compete in the global race," he added. The 13 new studio schools will join the 15 that are currently preparing to open and the 16 that are already up and running. At the same time as developing a strong academic grounding, pupils will also be taught transferrable skills designed to make them excellent candidates for employment, such as good communication, team working and reliability. Chair of the Studio Schools Trust Geoff Mulgan said the announcement is good news for both young people and employers, with the popularity of studio schools increasing because of their worth in providing teenagers with the skills and attitudes they need to succeed in work. "Young people learn better when they're tackling real life problems and they learn better when there's a clear line of sight linking what they do in school to future jobs and careers," he continued. There are several firms in the UK, such as Virtual College in West Yorkshire, that are also delivering pre-apprenticeship training to schoolchildren using e-learning resources as a way of preparing them for a working lifestyle.