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Don't 'coerce' young people to stay on, say college lecturers

31 May 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

College lecturers, at their conference today, urged the government to abandon plans to force youngsters to stay on in education until the age of eighteen.

Further education lecturers, at the annual congress of the University and College Union (UCU), unanimously supported an emergency motion which opposed any government plans to use 'coercion and the threat of criminal/civil action' to make students stay on in education.

The union was responding to the government's green paper on the issue, and is submitting a formal, detailed response.

UCU joint general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'We all know that school students should be encouraged to continue their education beyond the age of 16 but they should not be conscripted into staying on until 18.

'Professional teachers know that compulsion is not the way to motivate young people. The key is to examine the curriculum and student needs. Employers also have a responsibility to release young staff to study while being paid.'