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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2003): Education - UK - Training

AREA INSPECTION FRAMEWORK: A SUPPLEMENT TO THE COMMON INSPECTION FRAMEWORK

Ofsted and Adult learning Inspectorate

London: 2003 (HMI 1779)

The framework will be used to inspect the provision of non-higher education and training for 14-year-olds and the effectiveness of strategic planning across an area. Area inspections are intended to report on:

  • whether provision is meeting the needs of learners and employers;
  • whether there is coherent progression from school to post-compulsory education and training, including clear and impartial guidance on choices;
  • how well providers are collaborating to enhance opportunities available to learners.

CAREERING OFF COURSE

P. Kingston

Guardian Society, October 14th 2003, p.4-5

Most young people are failing to get adequate careers guidance from Connexions, the national advice service for young people, because it is having to focus resources on government targets to cut the numbers of disaffected 16-to 18-year olds, colleges claim.

LITERACY, NUMERACY AND ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES: A SURVEY OF CURRENT PRACTICE IN POST-16 AND ADULT PROVISION

Ofsted

London: 2003 (HMI 1367)

The report reveals that the government's strategy has successfully attracted more adults than ever back into the classroom to learn basic literacy and numeracy. However, poor teaching and weakness in the initial assessment of students have led inspectors to call for a sharper focus on the quality of education and training available for low-skilled learners.

MOTIVATIONS FOR ENTERING AND PATHWAYS OF PROGRESSION OF DISABLED STUDENTS IN FURTHER EDUCATION

N. Farmakopoulou and N. Watson

International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 7, 2003, p. 223-240

The study examines disabled children's experiences of further education in Scotland. It maps out the different options for disabled students in both mainstream and segregated colleges, and looks at how such opportunities help with social inclusion. A case study of two colleges demonstrates that although disabled students are generally satisfied with their support and facilities in mainstream colleges there is still room for improvement, for example in lecturer awareness and provision of disabled toilets. Students outside mainstream colleges have mixed feelings about their experiences, particularly with regard to their courses. Some enjoy learning just for learning's sake, but others lack motivation due to the difficulties of getting a job after leaving college. Many students feel that integrating into mainstream society after a segregated college education is almost impossible. The study concludes that although there are many reasons why disabled students attend further education colleges the main benefit appears to be social. Students wish to meet new people and to be part of a group and placing them in a segregated college leads to their status in the community being continually devalued. Changes to the system must occur.

REFORMING VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

J. Holyfield and C. Brace

Working Brief, issue 148, 2003, p.16-17

Argues that vocational qualifications in the UK should be restructured to end the confusion amongst learners about their status and value. Differences between vocational qualifications should be clarified so that everyone knows what gaining a qualification represents. Vocational technical certificates should be taught in well resourced places of learning such as further education colleges, so that students are given the skills and knowledge they need to do a job. National Vocational Qualifications should be used in the workplace to assess if employees are competent.

'SIMPLICITY ITSELF': THE CREATION OF THE SCOTTISH CREDIT AND QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK

D. Raffe

Journal of Education and Work, Vol. 16, No. 3, September 2003

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) was launched in 2001 to create a "national language" for describing qualifications, reduce barriers to learning and promote a culture of lifelong learning. The article explains the history and development of SCQF before looking ahead to its part in a wider process to "unify" the education and training systems.

THE SKILLS FOR LIFE SURVEY: A NATIONAL NEEDS AND IMPACT SURVEY OF LITERACY, NUMERACY AND ICT SKILLS

J. Williams

Department for Education and Skills, 2003 (Research report; RR490)

The survey provides the first national profile of adult literacy and numeracy skills. It covered 8,730 respondents aged 16-65. Key finding include:

  • 1.7 million adults have literacy skills below the standard expected of 11-year-olds and 5.2 million have skills below those expected for grades D-G at GCSE.
  • 6.8 million adults have numeracy skills below the standard expected of 11-year-olds and 15 million have skills below those required for a D-G grade GCSE.

However, many respondents had a high level of awareness of, and practical skills in, ICT applications.

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