Proposals will help create ‘gold standard opportunities’

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Sussex Downs College principal has spoken out in support of the Government’s proposals unveiled last week in its Post-16 Skills Plan.

Mike Hopkins, principal and chief executive of the college, said the proposals would help ensure ‘gold standard opportunities’.

Building on recommendations made by Lord Sainsbury in his independent review of post-16 education, the skills plan recommends that students should have a clear choice between excellent academic routes and excellent vocational routes to help them plan their future careers.

Mr Hopkins said, “These proposals are a very significant step forward and a great opportunity to ensure gold standard opportunities for all young people in education and training.

“ If we get this right, our future generations will be highly skilled, whatever route to adult and working life they take.

“The Government is on the right track.

“For too long vocational, professional and technical education has been seen as the option for people who can’t manage an academic option. This attitude has damaged the opportunities of individuals as well as the productive capacity of UK PLC.

“We have an opportunity here to end decades of waste.”

Henry Ball, chair of governors at Sussex Downs College, also welcomed the White Paper.

He said, “The college board has been thinking hard about its priorities going forward and will shortly be launching a major package of reform.

“I am heartened that the college’s thinking is in line with these proposals.

“In everything we do, whether it’s A level or professional and technical education, Sussex Downs College is determined to give students, employers and the wider communities of East Sussex a gold standard education and training. We want to expand choice for individuals and contribute to the sustainable growth of the wider economy.”

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