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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2005): Education - UK - Training

A FRAMEWORK FOR ACHIEVEMENT: RECOGNISING QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

London: 2004

Document sets out a radical new structure for vocational qualifications that recognises achievement through a system of inter-connected units. Each unit has a level of challenge and credit, which indicates the volume and size of the achievement. Units can be accumulated and transferred easily between qualifications and awarding bodies. This means that if people switch to a new area, they would be able to transfer any relevant achievement already completed, even if it is through a different awarding body.

HAS INFORMAL LEARNING HAD ITS DAY?

T. Burke

Young People Now, Nov.10th-16th 2004, p.8

Youth services are under pressure from government for participants to achieve accredited outcomes, i.e. locally or nationally recognised awards with a currency outside youth work. There are concerns that this emphasis on education is discouraging young people from participating.

THE LEARNING AND SKILLS COUNCIL AND THE INSTITUTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR POST-16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING: AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT

M. Ramsden, R. Bennett and C. Fuller

Journal of Education and Work, vol.17, 2004, p.397-420

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) was established in April 2001 to provide a coherent national framework for planning post-16 education and training, while being sensitive to local needs. To ensure cohesion and demand sensitivity, the Council operates in partnership with a variety of different agents and organisations. Article presents an assessment of the Council's progress, drawing on a survey of local LSCs. Results show that little has changed in terms of provision since the establishment of the LSC, and greater national coherence has been achieved at the expense of local flexibility. Evidence suggests that local LSCs pay only lip service to partnership working, and relationships with local authorities have been neglected.

PRACTICAL WAYS OF IMPROVING SUCCESS IN MODERN APPRENTICESHIPS

J. Maynard and V. Smith

Education and Training, vol.46, 2004, p.253-261

Modern Apprenticeships have been criticised in some quarters and in 2002 only 40% of work-based learning providers were deemed adequate. Article reports on 12 projects commissioned by Support for Success, a Learning and Skills Development Agency quality improvement programme. These projects sought practical ways of promoting achievement and progression in work-based learning in response to government policy directives.

SCHOOL-TO-WORK TRANSITIONS: WHY THE UNITED KINGDOM'S EDUCATIONAL LADDERS ALWAYS FAIL TO CONNECT

K. Roberts

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol.14, 2004, p.203-215

From the 1980s the UK has seen high levels of youth unemployment. Article argues that educational expansion over the period has merely caused large numbers of overqualified young people to be chasing too few jobs. Young people with few or no qualifications have become more and more marginalised in the labour market. Calls for the active creation of more jobs through public spending to end the problem.

WHY COLLEGES FAIL

Ofsted

London: 2004 (HMI 2408)

The 45 colleges judged by Ofsted to be inadequate demonstrated an inability to focus on outcomes for learners as opposed to processes and procedures. Their leaders are constantly distracted by peripheral activities which draw them away from close attention to their core business. A total of 18% of colleges in the South of England were found to be failing, compared to 5% in the North. Thirty-seven of the 45 inadequate colleges were general further education (GFE) colleges. Inspectors surmise that they could be failing because they are institutions of last resort dealing with the most disadvantaged students.

WHY COLLEGES SUCCEED

Ofsted

London: 2004 (HMI 2409)

The 29 highly successful colleges identified by Ofsted constitute 8% of the total inspected. All have a clear understanding of the nature of their mission and pursue its realisation single-mindedly. The success of their learners informs everything they do. All devote considerable energy to ensuring they are inclusive communities.

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