Educational Studies 20 (2):251-265 (1994)

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Abstract
The recent Smithers critique of the role of the National Council for Vocational Qualifications has opened up the debate about the effectiveness of this system for achieving the current goals of upgrading vocational studies and reforming the 14‐19 curriculum. It is argued that, although Smithers is broadly correct in his attack on the NCVQ, there are some areas of ambiguity and also ways in which the critique fails to capture the full scope of the problems. The nature and full implications of the inappropriateness of the NCVQ enterprise is illustrated through an examination of the main weaknesses of National Vocational Qualifications and the competence‐based education and training strategy which underpins them and, in particular, by reviewing some specific problems of learning and assessment and the findings of a number of recent critical studies. In view of the seriousness of these shortcomings of the NCVQ system it is suggested that perhaps the only genuine solution to the current difficulties lies in the recommendations of the 1993 National Commission on Education report for the abolition of the present system of academic and vocational qualifications
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DOI 10.1080/0305569940200208
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Theory and Practice in Education.R. F. Dearden - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 14 (1):17–29.
Competence, Knowledge and Education.Terry Hyland - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 27 (1):57–68.

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