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Frontline Group Meets to Advise Ministers on 14 – 19 Reform

The first meeting of the External Advisory Group which was set up to advise Ministers on 14 ““ 19 Reform took place today.

The group, announced by the Secretary of State for Education Ruth Kelly MP on the 10th of June, brings together practitioners from across the education sector and is intended to assist Ministers in the implementation of reform through the benefit of first hand experience. Their suggestions, based on personal knowledge of what has worked in the past and what difficulties may be faced in the future, will be invaluable to the decision makers in Government.

A Proven Track Record of Delivery

Speaking today about the formation of the External Advisory Group (EAG), meeting chairperson Schools Minister Jacqui Smith said: “Members of the external advisory group have a proven track record in delivering 14-19 education and their input will ensure that the implementation of the 14-19 Education and Skills White Paper is driven by practical advice about how to make the reforms succeed on the ground.”

The EAG wasted little time in getting down to the business at hand, tackling issues such as local delivery models and specialised Diplomas. They also discussed the timeline for implementation which Peter Lauener of the DfES said at the AoC Conference in June was subject to alteration allowing for circumstances. Another group of Stakeholders will be established alongside the EAG to offer a more strategic view, allowing for an assessment of the impact that 14 ““ 19 reforms will have on different groups of learners.

The EAG will meet again in the next term of Parliament, and an implementation paper will be published in the autumn. This should set out the impact of the reform on schools, learners, colleges and teaching staff. Across the FE sector, all eyes will be drawn to this document as the message for the future of the sector.

Jethro Marsh

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