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The English language, written and spoken, is the first language of many people who live in this country.
The Dearing Report (Dearing R, 1997) stated that students should contribute and pay towards their education.
The Green Paper (Department for Education and Employment 1998); in his introduction to a section called The Learning Age, will be built on a renewed commitment to self-improvement and on a recognition of the enormous contribution learning makes to our society. David Blunkett states To achieve stable and sustainable growth, we will need a well-educated, well-equipped and adaptable labour force. To cope with rapid change we must ensure that people can return to learning throughout their lives. It covered such areas as how the learning age would come about through such innovations as Learn Direct, The University of Industry and the implementation of information technology (IT) into learning. All these directives were building upon the ‘Higginson Report’ of 1996 which detailed the requirements for teaching incorporating IT and other modern technologies such as e- learning.
The Moser report quotes that 7million adults are estimated to be functionally illiterate and innumerate. In 1998 it asked Sir Claus Moser, chairman of the Basic Skills Agency, to produce a report on how to tackle the vast basic skills problem in this country. A Fresh Start – improving literacy and numeracy (DfEE 1999, ref: CMBS 1), known as the Moser Report, stated that up to 7 million adults in England have difficulties with literacy and numeracy – a bigger proportion than in any other western country apart from Poland and Ireland. One in five adults, it stated, are functionally illiterate; that is, if given the Yellow Pages they cannot find the page for plumbers. Millions of children have left school with poor basic skills. Studies that had been carried out by people like Ernest and Young suggest that illiteracy costs business and government £10 billion a year. To this end the government has set national targets and by 2010 the aim is to have reduced, by half, the number of functionally illiterate adults of working age. By 2010 the aim is for 95% of 19 year olds to have adequate levels of literacy.
Sir Andrew Foster was invited by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and the chair of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), to carry out an independent review of the future role of further education colleges, in November 2004.
Sir Andrew published his report in November 2005, entitled “Realising the potential, a review of the future role of further education colleges”.
The review sets out a vision for FE colleges and a clear set of values. It also sets out key recommendations that Sir Andrew believes need to be implemented if that vision is to be realised. Sir Andrew gave a presentation about his report at the Association of Colleges annual conference on the 15th November 2005. Sir Andrew emphasised the need to prioritise the imperatives for the FE sector and that, in his judgement, skills training was the key issue facing the economy and for colleges. He stated that many positives were sited in the text of the review and they were important, but the priority is skills and the recommendations flow from that.
The Governments response to the Foster review is contained in the White Paper issued by the Department for Education and Skills in March 2006; “Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances”. The White Paper explains ‘how the Government will provide the right supporting framework to act as the catalyst for this skills revolution’, which will be ‘ the most effective way of tackling family poverty, encouraging people to strive for a better life and increasing social mobility’. This effectively means becoming economically active by improving their education, skills, employability and thus social mobility in both the national and international market place. The goal is to achieve these aims by 2020.
The impact of the ‘Leitch Report’ has been to rationalise some of the 22 000 different qualifications, many of which were of little vocational value. Summarising the implementation of the ‘Leitch Report’ achievements have been made by:
Demand led funding – with money funnelled through individual learning and ‘Train to Gain ‘ accounts.
A new Commission for Employment issued by the Department for Education and Skills in March 2006 with emphasis on the Sector Skills Councils (SSC) being responsible for the development and control of the vocational qualifications.
Strengthening of the employers’ voice to ensure that qualifications reflect economically valuable skills required by the employer now and in the future.
In my opinion if these targets are met, students, businesses and the economy will benefit. You will have people who are able to read and write which will allow them to ‘aim higher’ when looking for employment. Being equipped with these skills can produce a more self confident individual with greater self esteem and self belief. If you are selected for an interview a good command of the English language, as well as academic qualifications, will improve employability. I think this can only be seen as a plus in today’s current job climate.
I also believe that by achieving these new found qualifications they will have gained a confidence boost and this will have a social impact; interacting with other students in college while studying.
The impact of these policies in delivering teaching and Learning in my own area of Plumbing has been as follows:
The subject matter should be delivered to embed Functional Skills and develop the application of literacy and numeracy in a meaningful and work relevant way. This has been achieved by students attaining Functional Skills qualifications alongside the plumbing certificate.
There are frameworks for modern apprenticeships (MA) which attract greater funding than the plumbing certificates alone. Achievements of these frameworks, which include the achievement of Key Skills, are designed to meet the requirements of Industry. I think it is worth noting at this point that the future delivery of the plumbing qualification will change as from the 31st March 2011. The City and Guilds 6129 technical certificate which we deliver to fulltime students will cease to exist. Funding has been removed from the learning aim data base. This will be replaced with a plumbing qualification which will incorporate the technical certificate and the NVQ at level two & three. This qualification will be known as the NVQ 6189. I see this as a good move for the industry; however it will have a dramatic effect on the number of students who will meet the criteria for enrolment and funding as the potential students will need to be employed. Although I believe we will see a decline in numbers for the level two courses I am aware that City and Guilds are currently developing a new level 1 qualification which can be used as a feeder course into a level two course. For example this could be an apprentiship route as elements of the level one course can be carried over. I am of the opinion that the government needs to make the employment of apprentices more attractive to employers by offering incentives.
Assessment of the Plumbing Certificate ‘Global on Line Assessment’ (GOLA) requiring the student and college to have basic IT skills and equipment provision. A further demonstration of Functional Skills and economically valuable skills being employed, a requirement of The Moser Report and met the original FENTO standard. These standards introduced the principle of evaluation and required teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of their lessons. Subsequent implementation of the recommendations of this report led to the development and introduction of the Diploma for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) requiring further study and additional goals to be met in order to teach. These are the standards to which I am aspiring to achieve and can be summarised as follows:
Mandatory membership of the Institute for Learning ( IFL)
Achievement of the Diploma in teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) Professional Formation of One year after DTLLS which requires the developing teacher to implement ‘Reflective Practice’ and Record and submit evidence of how they are applying the professional standards of the teaching profession. This builds upon the principle of evaluation requiring the teacher to evaluate the impact of their training and development on their students and how they must develop themselves to meet their student’s needs and the impact of any training and development they undertake to achieve this.
A record of continuing professional Development (CPD) of 30 hours for full time staff or pro – rate for part time staff.
A time frame to achieve Qualified Teacher Status and be qualified with a licence to teach in the Learning and skills sector (QTLS) within 5 years.
Dearing R, 1996, Higher education in the learning society / National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education
FEFC (1996) Report of the FEFC Learning and Technology Committee (The Higginson Report) Further Education Funding Council
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/leitch HM Treasury , Leitch review of skills.
HM Government, 2007, World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England, HMSO Norwich
http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=138259The foster review 2005
www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/greenpaper/summary.pdf the green paper 1998
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