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Bishop backs raising school leaving age: CEN 11.16.07 p 4. November 17, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Education, House of Lords, Youth/Children.

bishoppacker203.gifThe Bishop of Ripon and Leeds has backed the government’s Education and Skills Bill announced in the Queen’s speech last week.

On Nov 8 Bishop John Packer endorsed the government’s plans to require by 2015 all 16 to 18-year-olds to be enrolled in school or vocational training programmes, however, he urged the government to ensure that provisions for their moral and spiritual education not be overlooked in the new bill.

By raising the school-leaving age, the Queen said the government would “raise education standards and give everyone the chance to reach their full potential”. The speech also announced new rights to skills training for adults and draft legislation to reform apprenticeships.

Bishop Packer told the House of Lords the Church of England had “long been committed to a full and engaging educational experience up to the age of 18. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Government to meet those aims in schools and FE and HE institutions.”

“This Bill will provide opportunities for those from deprived backgrounds to achieve greater status and recognition because of the higher status that should be accorded to skills education from 16 to 19,” he argued.

Bishop Packer urged the government “to correct the anomaly over the entitlement to provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, which 16 to 19 year-olds have in schools but not in colleges.”

It would be “extraordinary to concentrate on specific skills and not to take account of those moral and social values that need to be at the heart of our community culture and therefore of our education system,” he said.

The contribution of young people to society was fostered by a sound provision for
“education in moral and social matters within the work of the FE colleges,” Bishop Packer argued.

Opportunities to “celebrate and value faith and to explore social development” were an important task of higher education. “It cannot simply be left as an optional extra. Values appropriate to our multi-faith society need to be inculcated in the overall provision made through these groundbreaking proposals,” he argued.


1. mrs.right - November 20, 2007

i dissagree wid the idea once we turn 16 we should be able to make our own mind up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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