Post-16 Skills Plan to trigger major changes to education.

Post-16 Skills Plan to trigger major changes to education.

Summary: Government report to unveil changes to ‘technical’ qualifications.

‘The post-16 vocational qualification system is set for a radical overhaul to replace 20,000 courses with “15 high-quality routes”, according to a government report to be published later today.

And each of the 15 routes…will controversially only be available by a single awarding organisation.

The first ‘pathfinder’ routes will be taught from September 2019 and will be two-year college based programmes suitable from the age of 16, as well as those 19+, with close alignment to the new apprenticeship standards. All 15 routes will be rolled-out for teaching by September 2022 and four of the 15 routes will be “primarily delivered through apprenticeships.”

The Skills Minister Nick Boles says in the ‘Post-16 Skills Plan…that “we accept and will implement all of the Sainsbury panel’s proposals, unequivocally where that it is possible within current budget constraints.” – FE Week

‘More than half of all young people in the UK find their way into work without going to university.

A House of Lords committee described this majority earlier this year as too often "overlooked and left behind".

With the economy facing the challenges of post-referendum uncertainty, and some of the deep divisions in society exposed, a new skills plan is badly needed.

The core proposal of 15 routes to an area of skilled employment seems fundamentally sensible.

The intention is to create a viable alternative that teenagers can choose at 16 which will allow them to progress towards decently paid work.

And the language is interesting too.

This is a plan for education in "technical skills and knowledge".

It's a determined effort to shift away from describing combining study and hands-on experience as "vocational".

Despite the long tradition of vocational education, it has become tarnished by some low-grade qualifications.’ - BBC

‘But shadow skills minister Gordon Marsden told TES there was a “lack of clarity” around many aspects of the plans, and said more details were needed to reassure people that the technical pathways would be as prestigious as the academic options. “People will be worried it’s going to be another form of the 11-plus,” he added.

Mr Marsden also warned that, given the implications of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the planned schedule for implementation was “wildly optimistic, if not to say ludicrous”.

He added that Mr Boles’ acknowledgement that the reforms were dependent on funding being available was a “big caveat”, adding: “That’s civil servant-speak for ‘You’re not going to get it all’.”

Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said the skills plan brought “welcome clarity of the routes, both academic and technical, that will lead people successfully towards their chosen careers”.

However he added that additional funding would be needed to make the plans a success, with providing work experience costing “hundreds of millions of pounds” alone.

The creative arts and sport were also “under-represented” in the 15 pathways, he added.’ - TES


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