In the Telegraph today we learn that there are fears for the new vocational diplomas that the government is looking to introduce. Apparently the requirement that students emerge functionally literature and numerate is asking a little too much.
Alan Johnson, the last education secretary, warned earlier this year that the vocational diploma could go wrong and be seen as the "secondary modern" of the exam world. What he apparently hadn't seen coming is that the education system we have now is so bad that comprehensives can't replicate even a secondary modern standard, deemed unnacceptable in the sixties. The failure to deliver an effective education system is perhaps the most destructive legacy of political management of public services.