Independent report

Review of vocational education: the Wolf Report

This review makes detailed recommendations for how to help improve, create and maintain vocational education for 14- to 19-year-olds.



In England, today, around two and a half million young people are aged 14 to 19. The vast majority are engaged full or part time in education and they are growing up in a world where long periods of study and formal credentials are the norm. Vocational education is an important part of that world. Most English young people now take some vocational courses before they are 16; and post-16 the majority follow courses which are largely or entirely vocational.

This review considers how vocational education for 14- to 19-year-olds can be improved in order to promote successful progression into the labour market and into higher level education and training routes, and provides practical recommendations to help inform future policy direction, taking into account current financial constraints.

The review has been informed by over 400 pieces of evidence from the public, a number of visits to colleges, academies and training providers, and interviews and discussion sessions with key partners in the sector.

Underlying it are three very clear organising principles for reform: any young person’s programme of study, whether ‘academic’ or ‘vocational’, should provide for labour market and educational progress; provide people with accurate and useful information, so that they can make decisions accordingly; the system needs to be simplified dramatically, as a precondition for giving people good and accurate information, to free up resources for teaching and learning, and to encourage innovation and efficiency.

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  • Recommendations
  • Scope
  • Introduction
  • The Social and Labour Market Context
  • The Educational Context
  • An Audit of Current Provision
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusions and Destinations
  • Appendices

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