AN A-Level student feels the initiative from the Government could really help people in his age group consider their future education for the better.

Ryan Collins, 17, of Coombes Grove, Rochford, is studying in the sixth form at the King Edmund School, in Vaughan Close, Rochford. He is taking A Levels in IT and hospitality.

The teenager thinks any help politicians give to students coming to the end of their GCSE education at secondary schools around the UK could be very beneficial for their futures. Ryan said: “Overall, I believe giving pupils help coming to the end of their GCSEs would be a great help.

“I think pupils should be encouraged to look at further education routes if it is to consider moving into doing A Levels – or do something like an NVQ qualification or start an apprenticeship.

“There are plenty of different types of qualifications people can achieve after they leave secondary school, and I think there is something for everyone.

“If a friend asked for my advice, I would tell them to look at as many options as possible and think what they want to do, because at the present moment in time, it is crucial to have some sort of qualification to help you out.

“I hope the idea from the Government does go through because it could be a real help for getting people to make the right choice for their life.”

Celebrate practical people

BUSINESSMAN Andy Starr thinks it the changes are a good idea, but admits it is not a cut and dried issue.

He says: “If people who stayed on feel happy that’s great, but we must not have a lost generation who would be happier working their way up and not fast tracked academically.

“Raising the age may make the divide wider. Politically, the current generation present a problem,” adds Andy, who left school at 16 and has since set up the hugely-successful Rollerworld in Colchester.

“The internet revolution has rationalised so much.

“If there are not the jobs for 16 to 18-year-olds, then education can fill that void.

“Being a practical hands-on person should be celebrated.”

Andy says he believes raising the school age will increase knowledge. “We need to produce more academics. But our greatest need is for doers who can shape the next generation.”

He agrees there should be two types of education from 14 – one for people who have struggled to go to university and need a practical path, and another for those who are academic.