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Programme Initiated to Help Practitioners Implement 14 – 19 Reforms

The world of education is at once constantly changing and strangely static at times, which leads to simultaneous complaints of the pace of change being too swift and not fast enough.

In a bid to ensure that the proposed reforms to the 14 ““ 19 learning sector go through relatively hitch free, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have joined forces to open up the world of learning to practitioners. This is being achieved through a series of structured learning visits.

The Programme

The structured learning visits are being focussed on 14-19 Pathfinder and Increased Flexibility Partnership (IFP) areas. The aim of the visits, which will take place across the country, is to enable attendees to examine different implementation strategies and consider adapting new policies and practices for their own local projects. Essentially, it will afford participants a front row seat in the bid to build on the sharing of best practices.

The visits are open to a variety of practitioners, but are primarily designed for FE College Principals, work based learning providers, and representatives from school senior management teams, Senior Local Authority and LSC representatives. The course uses a wide range of interactive methods, such as discussion and presentation workshops, question and answer sessions, and opportunities to observe what is taken to represent “best practice” in action in IFP areas. It is also planned that various learner perspectives will be aired as well. Should the first session be positive, it is possible to arrange for “follow up visits”.

Schools Minister Welcomes Programme

The Schools Minister, Jim Knight MP, welcomed the launch of this programme, saying: “Different areas will develop different models of delivering 14-19 reform, reflecting their own circumstances, and they must have the opportunity to do what is right for their area. But we also need to make sure that everyone can learn from what is happening elsewhere.”

He went on to say: “That is why we developed the idea of Learning Visits. The 14-19 Pathfinders and IFP have cracked many of the problems some people associate with collaborative working, and have demonstrated how to take advantage of the potential of this way of working. Those taking part in Learning Visits will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best of what has happened so far, and to decide how to apply the lessons to their own circumstances.”

Melanie Hunt, the National Director of Learning at the LSC, commented: “I”m delighted that Learning Visits to IFPs are now available to help support everyone with a responsibility for delivering the new 14-19 agenda. Sharing best practice through programmes such as this is crucial to successful implementation of reforms, and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from the experience of others.”

Jethro Marsh

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