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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Transitions at 14

As part of IPPR’s ongoing research study into the growth of 14-19 education institutions, IPPR, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, are hosting a symposium on ‘transitions in secondary education at age 14’.

Key Note Address from Lord Kenneth Baker (Member of House of Lords, Former Secretary of State for Education, Founder of Baker-Dearing Trust)

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  • Professor Allison Fuller Pro-Director for UCL’s Institute of Education
  • Ms Ruth Bradbury Head teacher at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio
  • Mr Alex Reynolds Principal at Sheffield University Technical College
  • Dr Rebecca Allen Director for Datalab and Reader at UCL’s Institute of Education
  • Professor Ewart Keep Director of SKOPE, University of Oxford

In England, more young people are now able to change education institution at age 14. This follows a growth in recent years in the number of institutions that cater for 14-19 year olds, such as University Technical Colleges (UTCs), Studio Schools and 14-19 free schools. These institutions typically have a focus on vocational or technical education, but promise to deliver a broad education to a wide mixture of pupils. The government has pledged to expand the number of UTCs to ensure there is ‘one within reach of every city’.

However, this comes at a time when many UTCs and Studio Schools are having to close down in response to low pupil numbers, while others are criticised for tracking low attaining pupils into vocational education at a young age.

With input from a range of policy, practitioner and academic contributors, this symposium seeks to inform the debate about the challenges and opportunities facing 14-19 institutions, and to shape IPPR’s research in this area. The first panel will explore the educational rationale for making transitions at age 14 by asking: What are the benefits and risks of starting vocational education at age 14? The second panel will explore the sustainability of new 14-19 education institutions by asking: Can new 14-19 institutions successfully recruit a balanced intake of pupils at age 14?

The event will feature a number of open discussions; your contributions will inform this research project’s final report. Sign up now using the form below.

This project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation