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People Management magazine, June 2011 reminded me that the UK Government accepted all the recommendations in the Wolf Review in May and that prompted me to download the pdf and read the full Government Response.

“The government has accepted all the recommendations of the Wolf Review into vocational education, and has given author and professor Alison Wolf a formal government role to help implement them.  Under the plans, young people will have to study Maths and English to age 18 until they get a good qualification in those subjects.  League tables and funding rules will be reformed to tilt the balance towards provision of high-quality qualifications that lead to university and good jobs.”

For further details read the Government’s Response to the Wolf Review

Government's Response to the Wolf Review

























“We will take action on all of Professor Wolf’s individual recommendations, and in doing so, deliver on three key themes.  We will:

Ensure that all young people study and achieve in English and mathematics, ideally to GCSE A*-C, by the age of 19. For those young people who are not immediately able to achieve these qualifications, we will identify high quality English and maths qualifications that will enable them to progress to GCSE later. We will also reform GCSE to ensure that they are a more reliable indicator of achievement in the basics, in particular by ensuring that GCSEs are reformed alongside our current review of the National Curriculum.

Reform performance tables and funding rules to remove the perverse incentives which have served only to devalue vocational education, while pushing young people into qualification routes that do not allow them to move into work or further learning. Those vocational qualifications that attract performance points will be the very best for young people – in terms of their content, assessment and progression.

Look at the experience of other countries to simplify Apprenticeships, remove bureaucracy and make them easier for employers to offer.”

“All young people must leave school or college with good English and maths skills. For the majority of young people this should mean the achievement of GCSE maths and English A*-C: we know these qualifications support entry to the labour market and progression to further and Higher Education. However, we are aware that confidence in the GCSE has been undermined in recent years. So we have asked the independent regulator, Ofqual, to consider how to reform GCSEs in order to reduce modularisation and re-sitting and ensure that exams are typically only taken at the end of the course. We have also asked the regulator to consider how spelling, punctuation and grammar can be strengthened in GCSEs. In the coming years, alongside the review of the National Curriculum, these measures will ensure that we restore confidence in GCSEs as rigorous and valued qualifications.”

“We will commission a maths continuing professional development support programme, which will be in place by autumn 2011. This will build on the achievements of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and draw on Local Leaders of Education and National Leaders of Education as the network of Teaching Schools develops over the next few years. We will also continue to fund schemes which provide existing maths teachers with the detailed subject knowledge to become recognised as specialist teachers.”

“We will also want to ensure transparency of Apprenticeship funding, and the related benefits employers receive – because intermediaries often receive payments on employers’ behalf, many employers are not aware how much money the Government is investing in the training of Apprentices. We will investigate how this might work in practice, with a view to implementing transparency measures for the start of the 2012 academic year.  We believe that as much funding for Apprenticeships as possible should be spent on the programme’s delivery, and we will review contracting processes by January 2012, with a view to achieving efficiencies and greater simplification, drawing where possible on lessons learned from international exemplars.”

“Key milestones for implementing Wolf recommendations”

Recommendation Action Date
23 List of trusted qualifications reinstated and
available for teaching from September
May 2011
17 and 18 Announcement clarifying the rules around
professionals teaching in schools
May 2011
22 New qualification regulatory framework published
by Ofqual
May 2011
19 Communicate to schools and colleges on pre-16
enrolment in colleges
June 2011
4 Publication of Foundation Learning evaluation June 2011
22 and 25 New Ofqual conditions and criteria to regulate
more strategically come into force
July 2011
4 and 7 Consultation period on Special Educational Needs
Green Paper ends
July 2011
11 Review of 16-19 funding formula Summer 2011
1-3 Consult on core attributes for 14-16
qualifications in performance tables
Summer- Autumn 2011
5 and 6 Consult on study programmes for 16-18 year olds Summer-Autumn 2011
9 Consult on English and maths qualifications for
16-18 year olds
Summer- Autumn 2011
19 Complete investigation into barriers to pre-16
enrolment in colleges and make recommendations
Autumn 2011
10 Maths CPD support programme Autumn 2011
8 Development of Proposals on Apprenticeship
Autumn 2011
4 and 7 Review of provision for lowest attaining learners
complete and recommendations made.
December 2011
8 Review role of SSCs as Issuing Authorities for
Apprenticeship frameworks
January 2012
11 Implementation of new 16-18 funding formula March 2012 onwards
21 Statutory Instrument commences removing statutory
requirement for work-related learning at Key Stage 4
September 2012

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