University Technical Colleges – what are YOUR thoughts?

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I’ve just been interviewed on BBC Radio Three Counties  about the Government’s new initiative to create 40 University Technical Colleges.

The colleges will develop high-level technical skills for 14 to 19-year-olds, and will develop in conjunction with employers and universities.

Lessons will run from 8.30am to 5.30pm with five eight-week terms a year.

Lord Baker said that the colleges will tackle “snobbery” against vocational training.

“This is an idea whose time has come,” said the former education secretary, who now chairs the Baker Dearing Educational Trust and Edge Foundation and I have to say I really agree with Lord Baker and the Government on this one.

I am a former Deputy Head and Class Teacher for over 22 years I believe we all have passions, interests and learning styles that are all different and the idea that everyone is academic and wants to learn Latin or English Literature is not a realistic one.

I believe success in life comes from your mindset, your positive  attitude and your application and committment  to working hard.

It also comes from the confidence to try things out and to learn from your mistakes, and to  find your passion – whatever that is for you.

It takes courage for a young person to follow their passion if it goes against their parents aspirations or expectations.

I work with many young people setting their goals and turning their dreams into goals with a date. I also work on their confidence, mindset and their ability to take massive action every day , every week, every month and every year towards making sure they come true.

I wrote my Living the Dream CD especially to inspire young people to hold onto their dreams, to surround themselves with like minded friends who also inspire them, and hold them accountable to their hopes and wishes.

It’s one of my passions to get Coaching into schools and colleges around the UK – to inspire, motivate and tap into young people’s gifts and strengths and help them practically, and regularly, take the very small steps that lead over time to big leaps.

I know first hand about this mindset, because it is how I have built my business around my passion to inspire parents and children with the techniques, skills, mindset and strategies they need to succeed in life – one blog , one article, one Tweet, one BBC interview, or one talk at a time.

It’s never about the background young people come from, the colour of their skin or how much they have in their bank account – otherwise President Obama wouldn’t be in office, Oprah Winfrey wouldn’t be a role model for millions and J.K. Rowling or Kelly Holmes wouldn’t be where they are now.

It’s about mindset, finding what you are good at and what you love and having a long term passion for learning.

Many, many millionaires have no formal education – so we need to get rid of the “snobbery” attached to different styles of learning and seeing one way of studying as better than another.

We need carpenters, plumbers, electricians and entrepreneurs  and of course we need leaders and academics too and I don’t mind  if they come from Eton or Balham. We need academic thinkers to extend our capabilities as human beings to expand our frontiers of discovery and to invent, discover and push our understanding of who we are and what we can achieve.

Life is a rich tapestry and the joy is that we are all DIFFERENT. No one is “better than” someone else. So why not celebrate our differences, work together on our similiarities and see where this new initiative takes us.

Click here to read more about this from the BBC website

What are your thoughts?

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About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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