The Relevance of GCSE Mathematics and English as Preparation for Employment

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  2. Ian Hall
  3. Dr Frank Hardman
  4. Dr Fay Smith
  5. Sally Taverner
Author(s)Hall I, Hardman F, Smith F, Taverner S
Publication type Article
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
ISSN (print)1747-5090
ISSN (electronic)1747-5090
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In order to investigate the relevance of GCSE mathematics and English as preparation for employment in small to medium-sized companies, qualitative data from interviews with supervisors/managers, employees and teachers were gathered. It was found that employers and employees regard much of what is taught in GCSE English and mathematics as not directly relevant to the workplace, and that their concerns with respect to literacy and numeracy are specific and limited. There were calls for more practical mathematics and a greater emphasis on the development of oral communication and interpersonal skills. Although teachers were supportive of these developments, they warned of the dangers of the curriculum becoming too narrow, emphasising that education has a much broader role than preparing young people for narrowly defined workplace skills. The implications of the findings for the development of a more work-related curriculum are also considered.
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