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Nick Lawrence Deputy Director

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1 The future of Vocational Education – creating a real alternative to A- Levels.
Nick Lawrence Deputy Director Head of Vocational Education Department for Education

2 What kind of qualifications are young people taking at 16?
16-19 year olds in full-time education

3 Does this meet young peoples’ (and employers’) needs?
The UK has the third highest University-level graduation rate in the OECD; 82% of students achieve 5 good GCSEs (53% including English and maths) or equivalent and (also well above average). BUT….. Vocational education is seen as a poor second to academic study; Skills shortages are denying young people opportunity: 39% of employers struggle to recruit workers with the advanced, technical and STEM skills - acute concerns in manufacturing, construction and engineering; 32% and 31% respectively are dissatisfied with some school and college leavers basic literacy and numeracy ; 55% say school leavers lack the right work experience, self-management (54%) and problem solving skills (41%); and attitude to work. (35%) (CBI, 2013) Many vocational qualifications do not prepare a young person for a specific job: only 7% of students take vocational qualifications at level 3 which prepare them for a specific job, most take more ‘general’ vocational qualifications. (provisional DfE analysis, 2012).

4 How do we compare to other countries…
UK’s 15- year- olds in PISA 2009 (65 countries participating): Average in reading (rank 25) and mathematics (rank 28), but well below the highest- performing countries; Boys outperform girls in mathematics and science – the second and third largest gaps in OECD respectively; Only 1.8% of students in the UK reach the highest level in mathematics, (OECD average 3.1%, 27% in Shanghai-China). There are significant differences between UK schools. 77% of student performance differences in schools is explained by differing socio- economic circumstances. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international study launched by the OECD in It evaluates worldwide education systems every three years by assessing 15- year- olds’ competencies in the subjects: reading, mathematics, and science. High- income economies, including the United Kingdom (UK) participate in PISA. A high- income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita of US $12,480 or more in 2011, calculated using the Atlas method.

5 How do we compare to other countries…(2)
But Only seven OECD countries spend more per student than the UK on education (2009); UK parents are better educated than in many other countries; The UK has below average numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds; When UK socio- economic differences are taken into account, there is no relationship between family structure and pupil attainment; The UK has lower pupil-to-teacher ratios in schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils than most OECD countries; Student and Principal perceptions of student- teacher relationships score well above the OECD average; Performance by second generation students with an immigrant background is similar to their peers if they speak the language they are assessed in at home.

6 What would an internationally competitive alternative to ‘academic’ education look like?
Strong focus on core skills – English, maths and science, avoiding early specialisation. Higher standards - ‘vocational’ not being seen as a poor second to ‘academic’. Greater focus on outcomes – eg reporting attainment and progress of students taking vocational qualifications, destination measures. Stronger links between employers, schools and colleges – expansion of work experience, involvement of employers in qualification development, delivery and assessment. More opportunities for technical education – UTCs, studio schools, enrolment in FE, post-16 work experience and traineeships. More ‘learn while you work’ options – Apprenticeships, Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.

7 Reform of vocational qualifications All non-GCSE qualifications reported in performance tables comply with rigorous new quality standards and all new qualifications are developed to meet these standards

8 What was the problem we were trying to fix?
Students in poor performing schools were being denied broad academic knowledge and skills that are fundamental to employment and education prospects. Qualifications which are no longer reported in the performance tables accounted for: 10% of 5+ A*-C GCSE achievements in 513 schools; 20% of 5+ A*-C GCSE achievements in 105 schools; All 5+ A*-C GCSE achievements in 1 school (70% of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C grades). Students were being encouraged to develop knowledge and skills of no value for progression to further study and employment. Large 4- to 5-GCSE-sized qualifications left little curriculum time for other study, limiting students’ future options. No labour market value to vocational qualifications taken at Age to which young people must participate in education and training is rising to: 17 years from September 2013; 18 years from September 2015.  Many qualifications were of poor quality, lacked robust assessment or did not provide progression to further education or training.

9 KS4 Performance Table Reforms
All non-GCSE/iGCSE qualifications have to demonstrate a tough set of characteristics to be reported in school performance tables. Only 4% of qualifications taught prior to September demonstrated these characteristics – all new qualifications now do. Schools remain free to offer other qualifications accredited and approved for teaching to 14- to 16-year olds. Each qualification only counts as the ‘equivalent’ to one GCSE. Two qualifications per pupil that are not GCSEs, established iGCSEs or AS levels will count towards ‘best of’ scores. Estimated 5% impact on 5*A-C English and maths achievement (but much higher in some schools). 140 3175 2011: 2014: Number of qualifications that will count in the school performance tables: 118 2015:

10 Reform of vocational qualifications In March, DfE launched a consultation on reforming vocational qualifications for year olds – setting rigorous new quality standards; separating genuinely occupational, more general vocational qualifications and A levels; and securing employer endorsement of occupational qualifications. The outcome will be announced in July.

11 RESTRICTED POLICY What is the problem? Level 3 vocational qualifications (BTECs, National Diplomas etc..) education are seen as a poor second to academic study. Skills shortages are holding back competitiveness and growth; one in five vacancies in associate professional roles (e.g. science and engineering technicians, IT technicians, paramedics) are due to skills shortages Most vocational qualifications don’t lead to skilled employment. The development of employment-related skills is being overlooked; over half of employers (55%) experience weaknesses in school leavers' self-management skills and two thirds (69%) believe they have inadequate business and customer awareness (CBI Skills Survey 2013).

12 Proposed reforms – for September 2014
Applied General Qualifications are for students wishing to continue their general education at advanced level through applied learning. They equip a student with transferable knowledge and skills and fulfil entry requirements for a range of higher education courses and may enable entry to employment or an Apprenticeship. Occupational Qualifications are for students wishing to specialise in an occupation or occupational group. They will equip a student with specialist knowledge and skills and enable entry to employment or an Apprenticeship in that occupational group or progression to a related further or higher education course. In some cases they can provide a ‘licence to practise’ or exemption from professional exams.

13 From September 2014 DfE is introducing a Technical Baccalaureate Performance Table measure  which recognises level 3 achievement which includes at least one Occupational Qualification

14 The Technical Baccalaureate Measure
RESTRICTED POLICY The Technical Baccalaureate Measure The Technical Baccalaureate Measure is designed to promote the uptake of Occupational Qualifications. It is for: ambitious, talented students who want to pursue a technical career; young people interested in occupations that require significant theory and knowledge acquisition, such as: STEM technicians Service technicians Creative technicians e.g. lab technicians, IT technicians, engineering technicians, construction professionals e.g. retail and hospitality management, personal services, junior accounting positions e.g. digital media, other media, creative industries, sport industry, material/textiles, design

15 RESTRICTED POLICY How will it work? As a performance table measure; not a qualification (like the EBacc): the right combination of qualifications will be recognised as meeting a national standard i.e.: High-value Level 3 qualifications from the DfE list (50% of curriculum time), including at least one occupational qualification Core Maths qualification at Level 3 e.g. A level, AS level, International Baccalaureate maths, applied maths qualification Extended Project qualification research project with an industry focus The TechBacc measure will be applied to courses beginning in September 2014.

16 16-19 Study Programmes From September Study Programmes and funding reforms will incentivise schools and Colleges to provide the training employers value most – English and maths, substantial qualifications (large vocational qualifications and A levels) and work experience.

17 Raising Participation Age
16-19 education was funded per qualification passed… Funding unfit to support RPA; Professor Wolf found perverse incentives which didn’t help raise standards; System is very complex and opaque. From September education will be funded per student retained… simpler and more transparent; at the same basic level for all students (with protection for larger programmes); linked to introduction of study programme – tailored programmes of qualification and other activity focused on getting students into university, further training or employment. 16-19 Funding Funding per student Study programmes Raising Participation Age This is the key change from funding per qualification to funding per student 16-19 funding reforms  To support the introduction of Study Programmes, funding will be allocated per student rather than per qualification. This will remove the perverse incentives in the previous system for providers to pile up small qualifications of little value to students.  New funding rates are based on an average of 600 hours per year of planned activities per student. This will provide enough income for each student to take a full Study Programme For example, an A level student taking a two-year programme could take at least four AS levels, three A2 levels and have up to 150 hours of time for other activities. A vocational student would be able to take a substantial vocational qualification and do other activities like work experience.  Where students’ hours are less than 540, part-time funding bands will be used.  The funding system will be far less complex and will reduce the reporting burden on colleges.  Funding will be adjusted for retention, disadvantage, programme costs and area costs. We will remove financial penalties based on success rates so that providers can focus on what is best for their students, even if that means entering them for a challenging qualification they might not pass.  No institution will see its funding per student fall because of these changes for at least three years. Funding Protection will be paid until and including 2015/16. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has published information about the new funding formula for Study Programmes. The latest funding information can be found on the Department’s website

18 16-19 Study Programmes Aim: for 16-19 year olds to study coherent, well thought out programmes which offer breadth and depth and do not limit their options for future study or work. Principles (monitored by Ofsted): clear education and/or employment goals tailored to meet the needs of individual students; a mix of qualification-led and non-qualification activity; does not narrow a young person’s options in terms of future learning or employment. Expectations (monitored by the Education Funding Agency): qualifications of substantial size (A levels of vocational qualifications) or a large programme of work experience or a traineeship; support activity, e.g. tutorial time, study skills and, particularly for low attaining students, personal and social development; post-16 work experience, to meet pupil needs and ambitions; continue with English and maths if they have not achieved GCSE A*-C at age 16. The government announced on 2 July 2012 major post-16 curriculum and funding reforms. This means that from September 2013, new Study Programmes and changes to post-16 funding will be introduced. The Study Programme principles are intended to enable all students to: progress to a higher level of study than their prior attainment; take a programme that will suit their career goal and help them progress to their next stage of employment, training including apprenticeship or further study. A levels or substantial vocational qualifications at level 2 or 3 provide most students with an appropriate route to their career goals. Study for these qualifications should make up the majority of the Study Programme time. In most cases, students will take qualifications at a level above their prior achievement.    Study Programmes, alongside changes to the way post-16 education is funded, will give schools, colleges and work-based providers more freedom to design educational programmes that meet the needs of their students.

19 From September 2014 studying mathematics and english to Level 2/ GCSE will become a condition of funding for student places for year olds and  the teaching of further mathematics will also be expanded.

20 Any questions?

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