14–19 agenda

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The focus on the development and implementation of education provision for 14–19‐year‐olds in the UK in the first decade of the 21st century. Following the final report in 2004 of the committee chaired by Mike Tomlinson, which proposed a radical reform of qualifications for students at Key Stage 4 and in 16–19 education, the government published the White Paper 14–19 Education and Skills in February 2005. This White Paper, and its accompanying implementation plan, identified several proposals aimed at ‘improving choice, improving chances’, with the accent on enhancing employability. These included a commitment to raising the levels of skills in English and mathematics; the development and ensured local provision of vocational diplomas which would replace the hundreds of individual qualifications offered by awarding bodies and would—alongside General Certificate of Education Advanced Levels—allow progression to higher education as well as to employment; the ability for candidates to achieve qualifications at the appropriate level for their ability rather than their age, with the intention of encouraging providers to challenge individual students; and a more robustly supported approach to disengaged students. The goal is that, by 2015, 90 per cent of 17‐year‐olds will still be working towards qualifications at levels 2 and 3 on the National Qualifications Framework, in comparison with 76 per cent in 2006.

A distinctive Welsh programme is in place in Wales to provide structured learning pathways tailored to individuals, designed to motivate and enthuse young people, balanced by real‐life learning experiences and opportunities to develop essential skills. This programme is linked with the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification and began as a pilot in September 2004. The programme is supported by the Learning Coaches Scheme, whereby students are given guidance by adults trained to help with the development of study skills and to make choices which reflect the aptitude and potential of the individual learners. See also Entry to Employment; functional skills; skills agenda; Young Apprenticeship.

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/14-19/index.cfm?go=site.home&sid=40 Provides a list setting out the timetable for 14–19 reforms.

V. C.

Viv Channing,

K. A.

Karl Aubrey

Subjects: Education.

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