Articles from EDSK - Education and Skills

The future of FE colleges: Colleges must dramatically change what they deliver and how they deliver it

Colleges need a clearer identity and more investment to thrive say @EDSKthinktank  With a White Paper on the future of the Further Education (FE) sector due this autumn, a new report from education think tank EDSK finds that colleges in England have been hampered by a lack of a clear purpose as well as budget cuts stretching back years, if not decades.

New EDSK report on university admissions 'Admitting mistakes' is launched

On the day that students around the country confirm their university choices for this autumn, a new report from education think tank @EDSKthinktank calls on the government to strip universities of their control over the admissions system. The report called ‘Admitting mistakes’ recommends that the Department for Education and the Office for Students work together to implement a new admissions process because the current system is designed to suit the interests of universities, not students. The report identifies several flaws in the way that the university admissions system operates at present. For example, despite ‘predicted grades’ being a central feature of the current admissions process, only 21 per cent of applicants met or exceeded their predicted grades last year. In addition, high-achieving students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be under-predicted than other students. The report also raises concerns about whether universities are acting responsibly with regards to admissions practices, particularly in relation to ‘unconditional offers’. Last year, 38% of applicants received such an offer – up from 1% in 2013. Almost two-thirds of universities now use unconditional offers to attract students, with some handing out these offers to as many as 85% of applicants. This growth has occurred despite universities knowing that applicants holding an unconditional offer are far more likely to underperform in their school and college examinations. Furthermore, the impact of the admissions system on social mobility is inescapable. On every available measure, applicants from the most privileged backgrounds dominate entry to the most selective institutions. This is driven by a range of factors such as the refusal of some universities and faculties to use ‘contextual admissions’ and also the enormous scope for wealthy parents and schools to manipulate the admissions process in their favour by investing in tutoring for personal statements, entrance exams and interviews. The report concludes that a new approach is needed to create an admissions system that is built on fairness, transparency and equity.

Runaway Training: Pretending that various forms of training are all #apprenticeships is grossly misleading

“Today we bundle a number of different activities into the apprenticeship programme, unnecessarily complicating the system, diluting the brand, reducing value for money, and at times detracting apprenticeships… from their core purpose and from where they can make the greatest impact”, said Doug Richard in his government-commissioned review of apprenticeships in 2012.

£1.2 billion wasted on ‘fake apprenticeships’ - Sector Response to EDSK 'Runaway Training' report

Why the apprenticeship #levy is broken and how to fix it With the apprenticeships programme set to overspend by hundreds of millions of pounds in 2020, a new report from education think tank EDSK shows that employers and universities are mis-labelling training courses as ‘apprenticeships’ as they compete to use up the funding raised by the apprenticeship levy.

Trust issues: Education think-tank calls for academies programme to be brought to an end

#SpendingReview2019 EDSK on Academies

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