There are many examples of international education systems where age 14 is used as a point of access to a broader range of education. Many of these economies, such as Austria and Germany, have much lower rates of youth unemployment. The principle of 14+ as an opportunity to access a range of learning pathways is also established in the UK, more recently with University Technical Colleges and the Government’s announcement to allow 14 year olds to enter FE colleges full-time.
Critically, Career Colleges offer a broad base of education. Students start at the age of 14,15 or 16, combining core curriculum subjects with vocational learning and hands-on projects. Subjects such as English, mathematics, science, languages and humanities are taught in the context of the chosen vocational specialism. This brings these subjects to life, giving them new meaning. Because of the emphasis on core subjects, students can change direction at 16+ if they decide to follow other paths.