From education to employment

Lawrence Miles on the reorganisation of the Governments education departments

“Chief Officer of the Independent Organisation for Licensed Verifiers and Assessors, Lawrence Miles, gives his opinions on the new Government education departments.

“As readers will know I always feel full of hope when initiatives are trumpeted, when draft (or do I mean daft) standards are under development, when another plaque is tacked on the door of the Department for Education and Training because there is a chance, albeit a slim one, that the architects of our Utopian future will take a little quality time to check out and make note of the views of practitioners and service users. Following the recent change of Government I awoke one morning to find new initials had to be memorised in the field of education and training. I immediately started wondering and in the time honoured words of every TV soap script asked, “Would somebody mind telling me what’s going on?”

On enquiry it seemed that we have these strange groupings because a Focus Group thought that putting the right ones together might result in a rude acronym.

So as I understand it schools that want children to stay on there until they”re 18 and then go on to University aren”t going to be twin-bedded with universities in spite of teachers being university graduates and undergraduates being former schoolchildren. Obviously the consequences of the close co-operation that would be established by the vertical integration of education were seen as being unworkable or undesirable. Thus that well-known educationalist Ed Balls becomes the supremo at DCSF, the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Why not just a Department for Children and Families or a more inclusive Department for Children, Families & Singletons?

John Denham is rewarded for “getting over” his Iraq War protest resignation with an ensemble department that includes the Universities, Innovation and Skills. Originally to be called “DUSI”, the Department for Universities, Skills and Innovation, before someone checked the Urban Dictionary definition: “That next step is a Doosie!” (said to someone about to step off a cliff). He will need to watch the key stakeholders closely. Universities thrive best on self-regulation and limitless funding. Innovation is something innovators want limitless development funding for while retaining all profits and intellectual property rights. What about Skills? Well they come at the end, something we should have invested in but the FE colleges and training providers have been under-funded in what many perceived as being a post-industrial, post-skills world where the Knowledge Economy rules.”

Lawrence Miles, Chief Officer, IVA

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