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NGA's comments on newly announced Advanced British Standard


Emma Balchin and Emma Knights, co-chief executives at NGA, comment on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's announcement of plans to introduce a post-16 'Advanced British Standard'.

"We welcome the long-term aim of consolidating technical and academic qualifications into one standard. This should give technical qualifications the equal footing needed to prepare our children and young people for the reality of the world outside of education.

Expanding the post-16 curriculum is clearly a positive move. However, the government needs to first address the formidable obstacle of teacher shortage as it currently presents an existing and evolving challenge with existing provisions.

Governing boards repeatedly tell us of the anxieties and realities of retaining staff, and while the proposed early career bonus for teachers in shortage subjects will help, it may fall short. Widespread teacher shortages demand a broader strategy encompassing better pay, conditions, and funding.

Data from the IFS shows extra funding announced in recent years is being diverted from making meaningful developments in the education offered to simply enabling schools to survive the rapidly rising costs of delivering the school day.

Governing boards are the decision-makers of how funding is spent and are more pessimistic than ever about the future financial sustainability of their organisations The government must urgently address the severely limited spending power of schools and trusts."