Vocational Study

Leading article: Someone must pay for courses

The Government's White Paper on the future of further education is right to single out staying-on rates at age 16 as the most pressing issue to be tackled. We cannot tolerate a situation in which countries such as India and China are expanding their education systems, but we lag behind at 24th out of 29 industrialised nations for the percentage of young people staying on in full-time education and training. This week's announcement that A-level courses are to be provided free to youngsters up to the age of 25 is imaginative.