IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


What if… we really wanted to overcome the academic-vocational divide?

28 November 2017, 5:30 pm–6:45 pm

Vocational careers floral design. Photo: COD Newsroom (CC BY 2.0)

It's the stubborn divide that has endured across the decades, and seemingly more so in the English education system than in that of many other countries.

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Clarke Hall
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

Why has the differential status of academic and vocational education been so intractable, and is there any real prospect of overcoming it? What if we were really determined to level the playing field - what would it take?

It's time to address the latest issues surrounding the stubborn academic-vocational divide. Come along and join us in the debate.


Watch or listen to the debate again.

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  • Mary Curnock Cook, former Chief Executive of UCAS; chair, Kensington and Chelsea College.
  • Tony Little, Chief Academic Officer at Global Education Management Systems (GEMS) and former Head Master of Eton.
  • Sir Michael Wilshaw, former Chief Inspector of Schools In England and Head of Ofsted
  • Alison Fuller, Professor of Vocational Education and Work and Pro-Director for Research and Development at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
  • Chair: Professor Becky Francis, Director of the IOE

The IOE Public Debates: What if… series

Through this series we'll be bringing together a range of commentators - academics, politicians, practitioners, policy wonks - and pushing them to bring some radical new thinking to some of the apparently intractable issues within education, not least the English education system.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #IOEDebates.


Image: COD Newsroom (CC BY 2.0)

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