MGM (Michael Gove Minister) Studios proudly present…

The Studio, Bournemouth High School for Girls, 1930s

No, not that kind of studio…

More work-based ‘studio schools’ announced

All Change Please! is feeling a bit confused, which is of course not that unusual. One minute 50 Shades of Gove is calling for high standards of eBacc academic education for all and dismissing vocationally-related courses as being ‘soft’ subjects, and the next he is saying things like:

“Studio schools benefit both business and young people – they are a brilliant way for employers to  become involved in helping give young people what they need to get good jobs.

“They are aimed at children who learn in more practical ways and offer good qualifications alongside the kind of skills employers want.

“Studio Schools teach a rigorous academic and vocational curriculum in a practical way.

So perhaps some kind person could patiently explain to All Change Please! why working from 9 to 5 and spending four hours a week of work experience acceptably transforms much-ridiculed courses in subjects such as ‘gaming and digital futures’, ‘health and social care’, ‘catering and hospitality’, suddenly turning them from being a so-called ‘complete waste-of time’ into an equally so-called ‘rigorous academic and vocational curriculum’? Surely what really counts is the quality of teaching offered and the appropriateness of the course assessment procedures – and there doesn’t seem to be any mention of these things?

So what exactly is a Studio School?
In case you have not heard of them before, Studio Schools:

‘…pioneer a bold new approach to learning which includes teaching through enterprise projects and real work. This approach ensures students’ learning in is rooted in the real world and helps them to develop the skills they need to flourish in life.’

They are small schools for 300 14-19 year old students; and with year-round opening and a 9-5 working day, they feel more like a workplace than a school. Working closely with local employers, Studio Schools will offer a range of academic and vocational qualifications including GCSEs in English, Maths and Science, as well as paid work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area. Students will gain a broad range of employability and life skills through the CREATE skills framework.

The unique CREATE skills framework has been designed specifically for Studio Schools and is comprised of a wide range of employability and life skills. CREATE stands for Communication, Relating to people, Enterprise, Applied skills, Thinking skills and Emotional intelligence.

I wonder if 50 Shades of Gove is actually aware of this? Because all this sounds to All Change Please! exactly like the sort of mamby-pamby, so-called progressive, let the kids do what they want and not make them learn any facts sort of approach that he is trying to totally eradicate from our schools?

Meanwhile All Change Please! can’t but help to see a remarkable similarity between the approach of the studio school with that of design education, established in the 1960s, but steadfastly ignored ever since.

Image credit: Alwyn Ladell 

2 comments on “MGM (Michael Gove Minister) Studios proudly present…

  1. As described, they also sound a lot like FE Colleges and what they do with vocational qualifications such as BTECs but usually on a bigger scale. I wonder if MGM has ever heard of them?

  2. Don’t worry, Gove will be chancellor any minute now and we’ll be faced with a different spin on St Custards for the masses…

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