14-19 Reforms

17 Jun 2009

 I've been chairing a series of conferences on the 14-19 education reforms in England. So far we have had events in the North-East, North-West and Midlands.

Interesting to hear from head teachers and college principals how ready they are for the reforms and what their main concerns are about.

Two big issues dominate: political uncertainty (will a change of government mean the foot coming off the pace of reform?) and funding (will the current funding premium for diploma students continue after 2011?).

 On the nitty-gritty stuff, there are positive experiences of diplomas (although still some uncertainty about which students they are aimed at) and real enthusiasm for the extended project.

 But there is less confidence or enthusiasm for the new Functional Skills (which many say are harder than the old Key Skills and which  some fear will put off students who want to do more hands-on, non-academic courses). There is also wariness - or lack of knowledge about - the Foundation Learning Tier.  


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