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Achieving 14 -19 Reform in Wales: Reaching the Tipping Point Professor David Egan University of Wales Institute Cardiff [email protected] ac. uk
Overview • • WHY 14 -19 reform? HOW is effective educational reform achieved? WHERE is 14 -19 reform in Wales now? WHAT now needs to happen to achieve genuine 14 -19 reform?
WHY 14 -19 REFORM?
Why 14 -19 reform? • • • Educational engagement/performance The costs of the current assessment system Consequences The needs of the future economy Higher education
Educational engagement performance
PISA: Reading 556 Korea 547 536 527 521 517 513 510 508 507 501 499 498 Finland Hong Kong Canada New Zealand ROI Australia Liechtenstein Poland Sweden Netherlands Belgium Estonia Switzerland Japan 496 495 494 492 490 488 484 483 482 481 479 Taipei UK Germany Denmark Slovenia Macao OECD average Austria France Iceland Norway Czech Republic Hungary Wales Latvia 479 477 472 470 469 466 461 460 447 442 440 439 410 402 396 Luxembourg Croatia Portugal Lithuania Italy Slovak Republic Spain Greece Turkey Chile Russian Federation Israel Mexico Bulgaria Romania (13 Countries with scores under 430 omitted)
As in many countries, in Wales there is a strong link between disadvantage and academic performance: Percentage of pupils getting five or more GCSE grades A*-C in schools grouped by FSM entitlement percentage Coverage: Wales. The percentage of children at a school who are entitled to free school meals (FSM) is a proxy for disadvantage
Costs of the current assessment system
Costs: financial • QCA 2008 estimate that the costs of the secondary examination system are £ 700 m a year. • Large comprehensive school in South Wales estimates cost of £ 130, 000 a year. This suggest that the cost across Wales is c£ 26 m just for schools.
Costs: human • UNICEF study in 2007 placed UK bottom of table of developed countries in relation to overall student wellbeing. The burden of assessment was identified as part of this. • Significant loss of learning time lost through GCSE/AS/A level over a 3 year period. • Why? Nothing gets heavier by weighing it all the time
Costs: educational ‘The costs of national assessment are disproportionate to their value. We suspect that the true figure (for the current assessment regime) would be so large as to provoke public outrage, since the money and time could be spent on education. In some countries, such as Finland, national tests are at a minimum but performance in international tests is outstanding’. David Hargreaves et al. System Redesign; 2007
Consequences • Child and family poverty: 44% of mothers of children in severe poverty have no educational qualifications • Teenage pregnancy • Drug related problems • Ill health • Involvement in crime • Mental health • Youth unemployment: £ 975, 000 a week in Wales
The needs of the future economy
Skills • By 2014 two thirds of jobs will require intermediate skills • By 2020 40% of jobs will require graduate skills(currently 29%) • 600, 000 fewer semi/unskilled jobs by 2020 • 3. 5 million more level 4/5 jobs by 2020
The future skills demand
Q. HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE FOLLOWING TYPE OF QUALIFICATION AND SKILL FOR YOUR ORGANISATION? LSEB 2007
In words. . . ‘When Ed Balls asked James Reed of Reed Employment what he looked for, the answer came back; people who can work in teams, communicate verbally, take risks and make decisions. And what does the current education system throw up? People who work alone, communicate on paper, are risk-averse and prefer to look up last year’s exam papers. Its a solitary, solipsistic preparation for a gregarious and assertive world. ’ Jackie Ashley. The Guardian. 29 Nov, 2007
Skills shortages ‘The Aerospace industry is one of the most successful in the UK. . . At Airbus UK 60 per cent of its senior managers came through the apprenticeship route. . . In common with other manufacturing and engineering sectors, the industry has an ageing workforce. . . there is a shortage of young people joining. . Another problem for aerospace is the slump in the young people opting for science, maths and physics in schools. The industry is pinning its hopes on new developments including. . the engineering diplomas for 14 to 19 year olds’. TES 20 July 2007
Devalued A levels? • ‘Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College, London University, delivered a withering attack on the ability of A levels to differentiate between bright pupils because so many had straight A grades. He announced that Imperial would become the first university in the country to introduce a common entrance exam for its students from 2010’. TES 6 June 2008
A levels failing to deliver ‘Science is key to the UK’s competitive edge in economic performance. . We believe that the recent problem in generating the right numbers of scientists lies deeper in the 14 -19 education system. . The introduction of the new 14 -19 diplomas is a serious attempt to address a matter of national importance and it is crucial that higher education gets acquainted with these new qualifications. . There must be greater clarity over the way 14 -19 year olds learn science and how we are to improve our current national performance in science education’ Michael Arthur (VC of Leeds Univ) and Deian Hopkin (VC of South Bank Univ) THES 10 August 2007
A wasted generation • 60, 000 pupils who at age 11, 14 or 16 are among the top fifth of academic performers do not subsequently enter higher education by age 18 • Pupils on FSM are 19 per cent less likely to enter higher education
HOW IS EFFECTIVE EDUCATION REFORM ACHIEVED?
Key Factors in Education Effectiveness • • • High quality teaching Strong focus on learning pedagogy Strong leadership Rich and balanced curriculum Professional learning communities Networking Intelligent accountability Data Environment for learning External partnerships
School Effectiveness Framework
WHERE IS 14 -19 REFORM IN WALES NOW?
Professional learning communities/networking for 14 -19 • • • In schools? Between schools? Schools and FEIs? Schools and WBL providers? Schools and employers?
14 -19 learning pedagogy • • Examples at school level? Links between schools and FE? The National Pedagogy Strategy? Student voice?
Leadership • • HTs working together on 14 -19 reform? School and College leaders working together? Educational leaders and employers? Strategic role of LEA in relation to community etc.
High quality teaching (Estyn 2006/07) • Secondary schools: 76% grade 1 or 2 (19% grade 1) • FEIs: 83% grade 1 or 2. • A profession without a practice?
Partnerships • Lots of interesting models developing in Wales and a real feeling that step changes might be about to take place. • ‘. . . in most areas in Wales there is still a long way to go before the number of courses is as high as it should be. Most learners can only take the courses that are available in their school. . . Schools do not work together enough to organise sixth form courses. . The current pattern of provision for 14 to 19 year olds still fails to offer a full range of courses’. Estyn Annual Report. 2006 -07 • Networks of high quality providers offering appropriate courses in a high quality environment with suitably qualified staff
Curriculum • What ever happened to ‘differentiated’ as in ‘broad, balanced and differentiated’? • GCSE/AS/A level represent a particular type of approach to learning. Not suited to most young people and were never intended to be so (GCSE designed for 40% of cohort!): but they now dominate the curriculum. • 2006/07 of 321, 866 examination entries for 15 year olds in Wales, only 12, 807 (4%) for vocational awards. • Figures for 17 year olds show 2% at 16 and 3. 5% at 17 for vocational entries. • These figures have hardly changed in a decade.
Vocational curriculum • Wales (like rest of UK but not Irish Republic) has not developed a vocational/applied route for students of all aptitudes and abilities as in other parts of the world. • Still often seen as a default mode for those ‘not of academic ability’/’disengaged’/’alternative curriculum’. • Reflects academic snobbery, vested interests and ignorance. It is uneducational.
. . . but not all bad news • Increasing strength of work based learning. • High take up of Apprenticeships in Wales. • Labour market increasingly rewarding vocationalism. • 14 -19 Diplomas
Roll out timetable of the Diplomas Phase Diploma Area Availability Phase 1 ICT Health Society & Development Engineering Creative and Media Construction September 2008 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Environmental& Land-Based, Manufacturing Hair and Beauty Business Admin, Finance Hospitality and Catering Public Services Sport and Leisure Retail Travel and Tourism Science Humanities Languages September 2009 September 2010 September 2011 National Entitlement 2013
Key components of the Advanced Diploma principal learning generic learning sector-related functional skills: English, maths, ICT mandatory personal, learning and thinking skills newly-developed, unitised qualification work experience (min. 10 days) extended project additional and/or specialist learning complementary learning progression pathways choice
Advanced Diploma in engineering principal learning 540 GLH 9 mandatory units • investigating engineering business and the environment • applications of computer aided designing • selection and application of engineering materials • instrumentation and control engineering • maintaining engineering plant, equipment and systems • investigating modern manufacturing techniques used in engineering • innovative design and enterprise • mathematical techniques and applications for engineers • principles and application of engineering science generic learning 180 GLH functional skills at level 2 x 3 (prerequisite) extended project qualification (120 GLH) 10 days work experience personal, learning and thinking skills (60 GLH) additional and/or specialist learning 360 GLH New 120 GLH mathematics qualification (additional) and Level 3 Diploma in ICT Communications Systems (240 GLH; additional) (examples)
Other changes • Versioning: coursework/A* at A level/L 3 extended project/GCSE changes from 2009 • Different versioning: no separate GCSEs in Functional Skills/KS and BS to be converged/extension of Applied A levels? • But not: i. Bac/i. GCSE/pre-U/Foundation Learning Tier? • ? Humanities/ Languages/Science and Extended Diplomas?
The Welsh Bac • Expanding rapidly: from September 2008 in 102 schools/colleges/WBL providers • All parts of Wales and some LEA buy-in • Huge interest in Wales and outside • Current objective is for 40% of 14 -19 year olds to be involved by 2010 • Level 1 still being piloted. • Still an overarching award that captures and broadens
Impact measurement tool • • • Wider curriculum opportunities Improvements in achievement and attainment Other wellbeing measurements Improvements in key and basic skills Increased collaboration Increased participation in Welsh Bac Improvements in quality of student voice Growth of 14 -19 PLCs and pedagogy Improvements in quality of teaching
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO ACHIEVE GENUINE 14 -19 REFORM
The essential ingredients • Entitlement for young people 14 -19. • An efficient and high quality system of provision and governance for 14 -19 education and training. • A clear, attractive and communicable offer to 1419 year olds. • Leadership from secondary schools in Wales.
Entitlement and Governance • Taking forward the legislation. • The outcomes of the consultation on ‘Skills That Work for Wales’ and the Webb Report.
The Offer • Acceleration (and, therefore, considerable additional funding) of the Welsh Bac as the clear and consistent offer to young people, their parents, employers and higher education. • Target should become 80% of young people (not 40%) by 2010 and all young people by 2012. • Within the Bac 3 strands at levels 1/2/3: qgeneral learning (reformed GCSE/AS/A level; qapplied learning; qwork based learning ( wherever possible leading to Apprenticeships)
Applied Learning • Full adoption of all the 14 -19 Diplomas in Wales from September 2009 • Where does this leave BTEC and other existing vocational awards?
A full Baccalaureate • When the review takes place of existing qualifications in 2013, the Welsh Assembly Government should seek to remove GCSE/AS and A levels. • The Welsh Bac would then become an award offering a diploma qualification at levels 1, 2, 3. • The madness of high stakes and high cost assessment at ages 16. 17 and 18 would disappear and assessment for learning will arrive in the 1419 curriculum.
Leadership from secondary schools • Critical that schools now sieze this agenda and lead it, rather than it being something that is being done to them, so that they can offer the young people that join them at 11 the brightest possible future. • Push forward the Bac and the Diplomas through lobbying WAG. • Work together in strong collaboration and with LEAs, FEIs, WBL providers, employers etc
. . . and • Develop Professional Learning Communities, Networks and pedagogy, exploiting opportunities through GTCW and National Pedagogy Strategy. • Major role here for i. Net in Wales.
The challenge: a downward trajectory to 25 • Attainment levels by the end of primary education in Wales are high, despite Wales having higher than average class sizes. • Attainment levels in secondary education fall (especially in KS 4) despite Wales having much lower than average class sizes. • Participation levels in upper secondary education in Wales are in the bottom third of OECD countries. • Percentage of 15 -19 year old NEETS in Wales is in the top third of OECD countries (largely because of unemployment). • In all of the above the relationship between disadvantage and low (declining) attainment is particularly strong in Wales. • Participation rates of 25 -64 year olds in Wales in lifelong learning is the 4 th highest in the EU and one of the fastest growing.
The Response: Moral Purpose • All young people 14 -19 are capable of high achievement. • In order to achieve this they need a strengthened capacity for learning (key and basic skills) and a new curriculum, organised within the Welsh Bac, that engages them and enables them to succeed. • Secondary schools should lead the reform of the 14 -19 curriculum, working with their LEAs, WAG, further education institutions and employers.
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