TES articles (Jan-Aug 2016)

You can read a selection of articles that I have written for the TES magazine in this section, including my look at the future of Ofsted, the research evidence on grammar schools, the prescience of the Labour Party’s election manifesto in 2015, how exam board franchising might work and the 9-1 grading scale for GCSEs…

GETTING THE JOB DONE: THE GOVERNMENT’S REFORM PLAN FOR VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

This publication described the steps taken to reform the use of vocational qualifications (based on occupation or employment) in full-time education, including a timetable for the introduction of the reforms. The reform programme aimed to ensure that qualifications: give employers greater ownership of occupational standards and qualifications are designed and assessed in light of the…

FUTURE OF APPRENTICESHIPS: IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

Following a Government consultation on how to reform our Apprenticeship system, this Implementation Plan set out the policy, process and timescales for reforming apprenticeships in England. The reforms were designed to ensure that Apprenticeships become more rigorous and more responsive to the needs of employers. This would be achieved by improving the quality of Apprenticeships…

G4S WELFARE TO WORK – ANNUAL REVIEW

This ‘annual review’ contained a wide range of information about how G4S Welfare to Work supported jobseekers in the South East, Yorkshire and Humber and the North West through the Work Programme – the Government’s flagship scheme for helping long-term unemployed people into employment.  The review included case studies of the jobseekers that G4S helped into…

PAYMENT BY RESULTS – WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE WORK PROGRAMME?

The ‘Work Programme’ represents the most significant shift in the welfare-to-work industry for many years. One of the most innovative features of the Work Programme is its emphasis on ‘payment by results’, which means that providers only get paid once an outcome has been achieved. In the case of the Work Programme, an outcome is…

INTERNSHIPS: TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY?

With youth unemployment at record levels and graduates struggling to find work, internships – typically a period of workplace learning for undergraduates and graduates lasting from 3 to 12 months – have become an increasingly high-profile option for those finishing their university and college courses. The benefits to young people of completing an internship can…

SIMPLY LEARNING: IMPROVING THE SKILLS SYSTEM IN ENGLAND

The world of skills, whether it be vocational education, apprenticeships or adult education, has been subject to near constant upheaval for at least 25 years. In recent years the Government has attempted to increase the volume of post compulsory education, improve the status of vocational courses and make the whole system more ‘demand-led’. Yet the…

INTERNSHIPS THAT WORK: A GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS

This guide was aimed at employers that are either thinking of starting an internship programme for the first time or wish to improve their current offering. The guide covers six principles of high-quality internships: 1. RECRUITMENT; 2. PAYMENT AND DURATION; 3. INDUCTION; 4. TREATMENT; 5. SUPERVISION; 6. REFERENCE AND FEEDBACK. Each of these principles is…

SCIENCE FICTION? UNCOVERING THE REAL LEVEL OF SCIENCE SKILLS

Britain will need more science skills if it is to prosper. According to the CBI a staggering 92% of firms across all sectors require people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, but more than 59% are experiencing problems finding them. The Government has repeatedly claimed that the numbers of pupils studying STEM subjects…

RISING MARKS, FALLING STANDARDS

One of the most enduring debates in education concerns ‘standards’ in primary and secondary schools. Literacy, numeracy and science form the backbone of the school curriculum with the intention of equipping pupils with these core skills by the time they leave school. The purpose of this report is to investigate the extent to which literacy,…