United Kingdom - Nonformal Education
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceUnited Kingdom - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education
In the United Kingdom, strong emphasis is placed upon lifelong learning, extending beyond compulsory school and outside the province of higher education. Further education enhances the personal and career satisfactions of adults who work at home or elsewhere; it also provides greater satisfactions in life for adults who have retired from working.
Vocational Training: Vocational training in England became an important part of the nation's resolve to train useful citizens, following the publication of the Robbins Committee report of 1963. In 1968, Parliament passed an education act that provided for the formation of boards of governors for the polytechnics and similar colleges. Among other considerations, the Robbins Committee recommended sweeping changes in higher education that better would enable the children of unskilled or semiskilled citizens to achieve an education to help them cope with a fast-changing world. These changes included offering "further" secondary education to pupils aged 16 years and older who were willing to pay the required tuition. Many of the schools prepared students for a trade in which specific skills are required. Many students combined work with school.
In 1992, the term polytechnics was abandoned, and the institutions were termed universities. Vocational qualifications are widespread in schools and colleges. In 1997, the work of ensuring quality education in vocational schools was taken over by the newly formed Qualifications and Curriculum Agency (QCA), replacing the former administrative unit, the National Council for Vocational Qualifications. The QCA oversees all the various accrediting and monitoring agencies, including those that supervise in-the-workplace training. In Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Agency is the equivalent of the QCA.