Some schools, academies and colleges specialise in vocational subjects and offer bespoke curriculums to help students on the way to their chosen careers.
Some have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) or health focus, while others specialise in music, dance and performing arts and broadcast media. Students can choose a range of
subjects that are relevant to their chosen future career and can take advantage of industry-standard facilities.
These specialist schools, academies and colleges work in partnership with the industries so that students are able to apply their learning to the world of work. This ensures that they are fully equipped to successfully compete for places in Further Education or the increasingly competitive job market.
Specialist vocational qualifications are highly valued as they encourage and stimulate students’ achievement through practical learning and forms of assessment based on applied knowledge and understanding of the relevant subject area. Level 3 vocational courses are broadly equivalent to 3 A-levels in the National Qualification Framework and are accepted for university entry via the UCAS points system
As well as a strong commitment to academic rigour and vocational excellence, they are also dedicated to the personal development, support and wellbeing of students.
There are also Studio Schools, which seek to address the growing gap between the skills and knowledge that young people require to succeed, and those that the traditional education system provides. They are usually small schools for 300 students; and with year-round opening and a 9-5 working day, they feel more like a workplace than a school. Studio Schools will offer a range of academic and vocational qualifications. Students also get paid work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area. Many collaborate both with local businesses and the biggest corporations to ensure pupils get a realistic insight into the industries and give the chance to participate in work placements.
Students will gain a broad range of employability and life skills through the CREATE skills framework, and will have the option to go on to university, further training and employment.