ACRE backs campaign to preserve land-based studies in schools

ACRE, the umbrella body for Rural Community Councils in England, including RAY, has backed a campaign to perserve the status of land-based qualifications in schools.

The Government's decision, due to come into effect from 2015, would see Land-Based BTEC qualifications such as horticulture and agriculture, being excluded from inclusion in school league tables. Brymore School in Cannington, Somerset, has begun a campaign to reverse this decision, saying that it would force schools that currently offer these qualifications to axe them.

The average age of farmers in the UK is 58, and just 3% of UK farms are in the hands of those under 35 years old. ACRE fears that if schools are forced to drop land-based qualifications then even fewer young people will enter farming and other rural industries, causing an even wider age and skills gap and harming the rural economy.

A consultation is taking place on the decision, which closes on 1 May 2013. Brymore School have also set up a petition calling on the Government to preserve the status of the qualifications. ACRE is urging rural communities to support the campaign, which you can do by following the links below.

Useful links

Brymore School campaign page

Petition to preserve school league table status of land-based qualifications

Department for Education consultation