Countryside Alliance calls for introduction of GCSE in Agriculture

Introducing a GCSE Agriculture could provide learners with transferable skills and encourage schools to set up on-site farms
Introducing a GCSE Agriculture could provide learners with transferable skills and encourage schools to set up on-site farms

The Countryside Alliance has called for the introduction of a GCSE in Agriculture and for "great collaboration" to make land-based subjects available.

On the 2nd July, the Royal Agricultural University hosted its second annual Teacher and Adviser Conference, with the Countryside Alliance providing the keynote speaker.

The event brought together teachers and advisers from across the country with a view to raising awareness of the educational and career opportunities in the land-based sector.

The Countryside Alliance's Liam Stokes used the keynote address to call for greater collaboration between colleges, schools and universities to make land-based subjects available to all young people who might benefit from them.



Drawing on his experience of land-based education systems from all over the world, Mr Stokes told the conference that making this sort of learning an option for all students would tap into the potential of children who do not do well in traditional classroom environments, as well as boosting land-based industries.

He also argued that the only way to secure the future of the school farms that make land-based education possible was to introduce a GCSE Agriculture.



“Without a relevant GCSE contributing to performance tables and funding, school governors struggle to justify the expense of a farm,” Mr Stokes said.

“Introducing a GCSE Agriculture would provide learners with transferable skills and improve both their academic performance and their employability, but would also incentivise the maintenance and creation of school farms.

“These farms could then be woven into the whole curriculum, ensuring all young people can reap the benefits of land-based education.”

An MP has also said teenagers around the country should be offered a GCSE in Agriculture to help Britain gain a more productive workforce.

According to Conservative MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy, who is an ex-farmer, the course could help create a "better skilled and more productive workforce" for Britain.

Adam Henson, one of Britain’s best-known farmers, has also called for the introduction of a GCSE in agriculture.