School ‘league tables’ and apprenticeships

 

Sir, – As a chairman of a board of management of a secondary school, I understand the natural objective of school managements to encourage as many pupils to choose third-level courses as possible in order to maintain the position or progress up the league table.

I feel that is often contrary to the best interests of the pupils by possibly ignoring apprenticeships and other options which are not included in the “progression to third level” (PTL) category.

I am sure that there must be ongoing discussions in schools about this dichotomy involving professional career guidance counsellors and school managements.

Do the results suggest which side is being listened to in terms of consistent very high PLT rates in a lot of schools?

The Government has launched a whole new range of apprenticeships in a broad range of career choices. I believe that if these were included on the PTL option there would be more encouragement from the schools for pupils to take up these apprenticeships.

Solas – The Further Education and Training Authority is examining the whole apprenticeship area.

It should not be beyond the limits of its technology to track pupils from their secondary schools to the formal apprenticeships they take up and include them in the PTL category.

Unless this changes, the take-up of apprenticeships will probably (for the reasons outlined above) be lower than they could be. – Yours, etc,

ROBERT BERNEY, PhD

Bettystown,

Co Meath.