Letter: I can do it too, mummy, funding permitted

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to your leading article 'So this is what you do daddy . . . so could I', I would like to point out that, according to John Patten, 90 per cent of school pupils - both boys and girls - undertake at least one week of work experience. But work experience for all school pupils is under threat. It is a compulsory part of the Technical & Vocational Education Initiative and as that fixed- term funding comes to an end, schools, local education authorities, Training & Enterprise Councils, and, in some cases, individual employers, are joining together to save something they value: work experience for all pupils - boys and girls from all backgrounds.

Saving work experience for 1994-95 is simply a finger in the dike. It is essential that the seriousness of the situation is understood and support galvanised so that a national long-term solution is found. A one-day visit for a small proportion of girls bears no comparison with a one- to two- week quality work experience placement for 90 per cent of all pupils. We will not be content with pink icing for a relatively small number of buns.

Yours faithully,

JANE RITCHIE

Partnership Manager, Durham

Business & Education Executive

Ferryhill, County Durham

3 May

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