Leading article: A welcome alternative to traditional learning

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At a time when many young people seem deeply disenchanted with their educational prospects, the news we report today of the success of the JCB Academy in Rocester is both cheering and thought-provoking.

A pioneering kind of technical college, based on the German model of vocational study, it is consciously geared towards the kind of pupils who drop out of traditional schools with their emphasis on academic attainment and getting into university. It is also hugely oversubscribed. Significantly, many of the pupils say they were bored rigid at their former schools and would have abandoned studies altogether had they not been allowed to pursue the apprentice-style disciplines on offer at JCB.

Long may it succeed – and serve as a welcome reminder that there is much more to getting a useful and potentially profitable education than obtaining a degree.