April 02, 2010 03:02 ET

Yes We Can Change Education

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 2, 2010) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.

The power of new media to influence this year's election has been demonstrated with the launch of independent education foundation Edge's election broadcast. This is the first ever broadcast to have been generated completely by the public through online messages, social media, videos and events. Over 5,000 contributed and a week on from its release, new figures reveal that nearing 500,000 have watched it across the internet to date.

One of the central demands from the public in the broadcast is for a much greater emphasis to be placed on practical and vocational learning. This received cross-party support at a parliamentary event and prompted the political parties to reveal part of their manifesto commitments.

Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families speaking at the event said it was time to end the "disastrous divide" in education. "Vocational qualifications are not second class – they are the key to jobs in the future. Every young person needs the skills and qualifications to give them a path to success and practical and vocational learning needs to be on a par with academic learning."

Commenting for the Conservatives, Nick Gibb MP, Shadow Minister of State for Schools, gave a glimpse of the support his party will be giving vocational learning in their manifesto: "We support high quality vocational qualifications, backed by quality courses taught by teachers with relevant, real world experience. We're committing to developing University Technical Colleges and more Apprenticeship places in our manifesto."

David Laws MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, welcomed the opportunity to hear from the electorate through Edge's broadcast: "I agree with Edge's recommendations and hope to incorporate them in our manifesto. All young people should have many opportunities open to them and providing a high quality vocational education is a vital part of this." 

Chairman of Edge Lord Baker, commented: "Edge has provided a platform for the public to have their say via all methods of communication from Twitter to video messages. The outcome is the first ever election broadcast generated completely by the public."

"The time is right for the next Government to make sure the current system helps all young people realise their individual talents. They must be able to recognise the many paths to success that come from a high quality education combining academic, practical and vocational learning." 

Edge is inviting the general public, teachers, parents and young people to watch the broadcast ahead of this year's general election at www.edge.co.uk/haveyoursay and have their say.

About Edge 
Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success. For more information visit www.edge.co.uk.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20100401-gibb800.jpg

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIxe2nmHIqw

Contact Information

  • For more information on the campaign and Edge please contact
    Zoe Penn or Andy Wray
    020 7419 6950