Patten says 25% of 16-year-olds will take new vocational courses by 1996

(First Edition)

John Patten speaking at the Institute of Directors in London, yesterday. The Secretary of State for Education underlined the Government's commitment to vocational education with a plan to ensure that one in four 16-year-olds will be studying for new vocational qualifications by 1996, writes Jojo Moyes. He intends to speed up the introduction of the qualifications, which he said would provide a high-quality alternative to A-levels. Mr Patten faces continued criticism from teachers over testing. The National Union of Teachers yesterday called on him to halt all national curriculum tests or face an escalation of the teachers' boycott.

Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid

(Photograph omitted)

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