- What do researchers do? Labour market information
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- Secondary education
- Secondary education: future trends
Secondary education: future trends
Demographic analysis shows that the number of young people entering secondary school is expected to fall until the middle of the decade and then increase again until 2030. This may mean increasing pressure on the schools system in that time. There is expected to be an increase in the number of children studying for vocational rather than academic qualifications, with the introduction of vocational diplomas for the 14-19 age group as an alternative to A-level/GCSE. The compulsory age for participating in learning, either by full-time education or by part-time training for workers, will be raised to 17 from 2013.
The sector has also been challenged to raise skills levels, and continuous professional development (CPD) is becoming increasingly important. Developments in working practice, with moves towards personalised learning and towards working with other organisations providing children's services, require a workforce with a wide range of skills.
Many parts of the sector see challenges with recruitment and retention. There are still widely publicised shortages of qualified teachers in mathematics and the physical sciences (but not in biological sciences), as well as modern languages [Information from the Training and Development Agency]. These subjects are considered a priority, and incentives are available for new entrants; this may make these subjects more attractive for doctoral graduates.
Schools with challenging populations sometimes struggle to retain staff. There is a diverse population amongst schools support staff, and skills levels vary significantly. This has resulted in challenges for the sector as a drive to greater professional standards becomes more pronounced.
A significant proportion of the sector workforce is expected to retire within a decade, and this presents challenges for the sector as skills and experience need to be replaced.
There may be further major changes in education in the next few years because of the effect of the economic recession and widely anticipated reductions in public expenditure.
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