sorry TalkinPeace2 but you are sounding very judgypants - but some students actually want to study 'vocational subjects' to A level, rather than doing a BTEC etc and are mroe liekly to achieve in these subjects than the traditional academic subjects
I was under the impression that 'vocational subjects' were things like childcare, travel and tourism, hairdressing and beauty etc, and that (at GCSE level, anyway) you spend about half the timetable time studying that subject, then it's worth about 5 GCSEs at the end of year 11? Not sure, as my school didn't offer them, but my sister's school did this kind of thing.
TalkinPeace - Human Biology is most definitely academic - it is the same as A Level Biology but with a couple of modules focused on human biology rather than plant biology.
You sound rather out of touch to be honest.
The vocational A Levels are A Levels in Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism etc. they replaced the old GNVQs years ago. They're probably very good for the not so academic who fancy a career in one of those sectors. Rubbish for going on to do something academic at University.
The VI Form I am Head of runs three different sorts of courses:
AS/A2s - in subjects like English Lit, Maths, Biology, Psychology (ooo - ologies. But all academic and widely accepted at university level) and History.
Applied AS/A2s - in things like Business Studies and ICT - still an academic A Level, but syllabi includes an element of practicality rather than pure theory or academic study.
BTEC Level 3 courses in Vocational Subjects such as Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism and Sport. These are more likely to be taken by students who are thinking about work/work-based training after 18, but are widely accepted by universities, for appropriate courses, when combined with other qualifications.
I teach BTEC Performing Arts, which is a vastly different syllabus to A Level Theatre Studies - the BTEC is structured around a number of practical projects, all of which have a vocational element (ie they somehow relate to working in the Performing Arts industry) and most are assessed through performance to an actual audience, rather than just performing for an examiner. There is no written exam, though the assessment is continuous. This suits some students, though it is not necessarily the "soft" option, as students have to be consistent throughout the two years of VI Form.
I am disappointed, though not in the least surprised, that the majority of replies to this thread are sneery. Not everyone has the ability nor the desire to take subjects from the revered Russell Group list.
Thank you for all the replies. I agree with Evil Twin in that not all the children want to go to university and for that they shouldn't been seen as less inteligent. I am one that thinks that life is more than just have A's and have a University degree and being a doctor or a lawer or something similar. The school we went to the open day the HT said in 20 minute speech that girls in that school had a lot of homework at least 20 times. That after school they had extended curriculum clubs not extra curriculum clubs. For the look at the girls in the open day it didn't look that they were having fun at the school.