Child Poverty Expert Group

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                                                          Child Poverty Expert Group
                                                          DCELLS Initial Response to:
                                                Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education

                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                       Initial Response
  1.     The Expert Group supports the philosophy that 14-19 Learning                       Wales‟ Learning and Skills Measure was passed by the
         underpins the ambitious and positive 14-19      Pathways                           National Assembly for Wales on 17 March and it has
         educational reform programme in Wales, as         Branch                           now proceeded to its final stage of approval from the
         presented by the Assembly Government to the                                        Privy Council.
         Group on 10th October 2008. However, the John Pugsley
         Expert Group is of the view that there needs to                                    The backing that the Measure has received from the
         be more clarity about how the 14-19 programme                                      National Assembly has gone a long way towards
         will contribute to overcoming educational                                          securing the future of 14-19 Learning Pathways, which
         disengagement and low education outcomes and                                       aims to improve educational choices, vocational and
         the programme‟s place within the Assembly                                          academic, for young people in Wales.
         Government‟s strategy to end child poverty by
         2020.                                                                              The Measure will ensure that individual teenagers can
                                                                                            make and pursue learning choices that will have long-
         Relevant targets and milestones should be                                          term implications for their careers, quality of life and
         incorporated into the programme identifying what                                   ultimate happiness. This individual learner-centred
         needs to be in place to impact on child poverty in                                 approach will ensure that the needs of those young
         2020. The real impact of the 14-19 reform                                          people who are disadvantaged by poverty can be met
         programme in 2020 goes beyond aged 19 as this                                      within an inclusive and comprehensive framework.
         cohort of young people become the parents
         whose children face poverty in 2020.                                               Given the pivotal nature of this phase of young people‟s
                                                                                            education, it is critical that all young people in Wales
         The Expert Group‟s Policy Recommendations on                                       have an equal opportunity to make informed choices
         4-14 Years Education provide a firm foundation                                     and receive high-quality support that they need to get
         on which to build this programme of reform                                         the most from the learning they choose.



DCELLS Initial Response to:
Child Poverty Expert Group Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education                                                                   1
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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                      Initial Response

                                                                                            The Learning and Skills Measure will give the Assembly
                                                                                            Government powers to issue regulations and guidance
                                                                                            to ensure all areas of Wales provide sufficient course
                                                                                            options to cater for the needs and preferences of young
                                                                                            people. This will ensure young people are kept engaged
                                                                                            in education and training by being offered a wide range
                                                                                            of courses, including vocational as well as academic,
                                                                                            which will help them to achieve their full potential.

                                                                                            Learning Pathways consist of a package of 6 Key
                                                                                            Elements. It is the ability to combine the content and
                                                                                            intensity of each of these Key Elements which provides
                                                                                            the flexibility to meet learners‟ needs, including those
                                                                                            disadvantaged by poverty, within a universal framework.
                                                                                            We no longer talk about an “alternative curriculum” as
                                                                                            the new framework means that learners can access the
                                                                                            provision they need within Learning Pathways.

                                                                                            In addition, the 6 key Elements include an entitlement to
                                                                                            access to wider experiences, which young people who
                                                                                            are disadvantaged often miss out on.

                                                                                            Within the 6 Key Elements of Learning Pathways all
                                                                                            young people will have access to an individual Learning
                                                                                            Pathway which will need to set out how all the Key
                                                                                            Elements are being met.




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Child Poverty Expert Group Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education                                                                  2
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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                       Initial Response
                                                                                            The learning pathway plan has an important role in
                                                                                            enabling effective learning. The plan will be a key tool in
                                                                                            enabling various contributors to the learning coach
                                                                                            function to ensure a coherent, consistent and
                                                                                            developmental approach. The learner remains the
                                                                                            owner of the plan.

                                                                                            The plan must make provision to include:

                                                                                                   the learner‟s goals and aspirations
                                                                                                   the curriculum choices the learner makes as the
                                                                                                    formal strand of their learning pathway, and how
                                                                                                    these contribute to the Learning Core
                                                                                                   the non-formal experiences, activities and
                                                                                                    opportunities the learner seeks to engage both
                                                                                                    inside and outside formal learning, and how
                                                                                                    these contribute to the Learning Core
                                                                                                   at the learner‟s discretion, learning obtained from
                                                                                                    informal opportunities, rather than planned
                                                                                                    activities, including family and community
                                                                                                   how learning coach support will be provided to
                                                                                                    meet the differentiated learning needs of the
                                                                                                    individual learner
                                                                                                   where relevant how personal support needs will
                                                                                                    be met

                                                                                            The support elements of Learning Pathways will be a


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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                       Initial Response
                                                                                            key in helping those young people who have personal
                                                                                            issues and are potentially at risk of losing out on
                                                                                            education. By being entitled to receive the necessary
                                                                                            support, advice and guidance they will be helped to
                                                                                            overcome any barriers they may have to learning. For
                                                                                            those young people in need of more support in their
                                                                                            learning, it should be possible for them to receive more
                                                                                            intensive learning coach support, together with the
                                                                                            personal support they might need to overcome
                                                                                            significant barriers to learning they might face.

                                                                                            The current review of the youth Support Services
                                                                                            Guidance will take full account of learners‟ entitlement to
                                                                                            wider learning and support.

                                                                                            Over the coming years the Assembly Government will
                                                                                            be monitoring the success of 14-19 Learning Pathways
                                                                                            by focusing on the achievement at Level 2 at Pre-16 and
                                                                                            Level 3 at Post 16. The support provided by the Learner
                                                                                            Support Elements will also play a major role in helping
                                                                                            young people succeed in achieving their aspirations.

                                                                                            The success of the14-19 Reform Programme relies on a
                                                                                            holistic approach to the planning and delivery of
                                                                                            services across all partners locally. To achieve this,
                                                                                            those responsible for the Programme need to be fully
                                                                                            engaged in their Children and Young People‟s
                                                                                            Partnership‟s work to write its CYP Plan. Successful



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                                                                                            outcomes for young people cannot be achieved by any
                                                                                            single agency or partner working alone.

                                                                                            This work begins with needs assessment and service
                                                                                            mapping – through to the decisions on priorities, joint
                                                                                            action, measures and targets that will enable progress
                                                                                            to be measured. The local 14-19 programme needs to
                                                                                            be engaged fully in this process contributing to
                                                                                            development of a shared vision and the actions taken to
                                                                                            support it.

                                                                                            The Assembly Government is clear that its 14-19
                                                                                            educational reform programme will contribute to
                                                                                            overcoming educational disengagement and low
                                                                                            education outcomes and that the reforms will need to be
                                                                                            an integral part of the Assembly Government‟s new
                                                                                            strategy to end child poverty by 2020.

                                                                                            The proposed Children and Families (Wales) Measure
                                                                                            makes statutory provision, through a legislative
                                                                                            framework, to take forward the Welsh Assembly
                                                                                            Government‟s commitment in terms of child poverty, and
                                                                                            to take forward early development of its strategy for
                                                                                            vulnerable children by bringing forward legislation to
                                                                                            provide greater support to families where children may
                                                                                            be at risk, and strengthened regulatory enforcement in
                                                                                            children settings. The purpose of Part 1 of the Measure
                                                                                            is to introduce a legislative framework which, amongst



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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                       Initial Response
                                                                                            other things, sets out a range of 'broad aims' for
                                                                                            contributing to the eradication of child poverty and a
                                                                                            duty on “Welsh authorities” to prepare and publish a
                                                                                            strategy for contributing to the eradication of child
                                                                                            poverty in Wales. Amongst the broad aims identified in
                                                                                            Part 1 of the proposed legislation, certain Welsh
                                                                                            authorities (Welsh Assembly Government and Local
                                                                                            Authorities) will be expected to identify objectives that
                                                                                            relate to the reduction of inequalities in educational
                                                                                            attainment between children and also objectives that
                                                                                            help young people participate effectively in education
                                                                                            and training in their strategies for tackling child poverty
  2.     In line with the One Wales policy commitment in                    Performance     The Welsh Assembly Government will shortly be
         this area, the Expert Group recommends that the                    Improvement     commissioning an inquiry into disengagement from
         Assembly Government should as a matter of                            Branch        education of young people aged 11-16. It is anticipated
         urgency commission work to scope the extent                                        that the results will be available by December 2009.
         and nature of educational disengagement                              Graham
         amongst this age group recognising that                              Davies
         disengagement begins much earlier on.
  3.     More needs to be done to articulate how closely                  General           The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is designed to
         the programme links with the Welsh                             Qualifications      be is available to a wide range of learners, both in terms
                         . This is of particular importance                   &             of ability and aptitude. Its three levels (Foundation –
         in terms of extending opportunities for                        Modernisation       equivalent to GCSE grades D-G level; Intermediate
         disadvantaged young people who may be                            Branch            equivalent to GCSE grades A*-C level; and Advanced
         disengaged from education by enabling them to                                      equivalent to GCE A level) provide for progression
         undertake a range of courses captured within the                     Julian        between levels and, because it gives equal weight to
         Welsh                                                               Pritchard/     academic and vocational learning, it is suitable for



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Child Poverty Expert Group Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education                                                                     6
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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                        Initial Response
                                                                            Sylvia Lindoe   learners in all learning routes.
         Our understanding is that the most effective
         schools are those that offer a broad and                                           From September 2009, the range of qualifications that is
         attractive curriculum to all young people,                                         available as part of the Options component of the Welsh
         including those that are                                                           Baccalaureate Qualification will be increased when new
         disadvantaged/disengaged and linking the Welsh                                     Principal Learning and Project Qualifications will be
                       to the School Effectiveness                                          available. The Principal Learning Qualifications have
         Framework is an excellent way of doing this.                                       been developed with a great deal of input from
                                                                                            employers and, in Wales, will only be available as part
                                                                                            of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.

                                                                                            The Core of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is
                                                                                            designed to develop the skills that all young people will
                                                                                            need as they progress in learning or in employment.
                                                                                            The Core offers opportunities for a “hands on” learning
                                                                                            by doing approach, which can appeal to learners who
                                                                                            might otherwise not be engaged in learning. Comments
                                                                                            from centres indicate that this has had positive effects in
                                                                                            motivating learners.

                                                                                            As roll-out of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification
                                                                                            continues, it is becoming widely available in schools,
                                                                                            colleges and work based learning. From September
                                                                                            2009 there will be 169 centres, covering all areas of
                                                                                            Wales and offering the Welsh Baccalaureate
                                                                                            Qualification to some 30,000 learners.




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Child Poverty Expert Group Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education                                                                    7
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  4.     The Welsh Assembly Government must avoid 14-19 Learning                            The Welsh Assembly Government has made £32.5m
         developing additional barriers to education and Pathways                           available to for 2009/10 to support 14-19 Learning
         training by ensuring that cost of equipment for  Branch                            Pathways, this money represents considerable
         vocational courses under the 14-19 programme John Pugsley                          investment in 14-19 Learning Pathways by the
         are met by the educational establishments and                                      Assembly Government. This funding will be instrumental
         not passed onto the pupils                                                         in changing the pattern of spending in all learning
                                                                                            settings and will help to secure better achievement and
                                                                                            opportunities for all learners. Networks can utilise this
                                                                                            grant funding to purchase equipment for new courses
                                                                                            being developed.
                                                                                            14-19 Learning Pathways will ensure equality of
                                                                                            provision for learners, so that young people in
                                                                                            maintained schools and FE, no matter what their
                                                                                            circumstances/background will be offered a wide range
                                                                                            of courses, including many vocational courses, which
                                                                                            are of high quality and meets the needs of the learner.

  5.     The success of the14-19 Reform Programme                           Partnership
         relies on a holistic approach to the individual                     Working        Action to address poverty is planned locally through the
         student by all professionals. There are concerns                     Branch        22 strategic Children and Young People‟s Plans, in
         as to how this collaboration will work in practice,                                which poverty appears under Core Aim 7 and as
         particularly in relation to disadvantaged and                        David         appropriate under the other 6 Aims, reflecting the cross
         disengaged young people many of whom are                            Middleton      cutting nature of the effects of poverty and action
         „hard to reach‟.                                                                   needed to address it. Many of the first Plans identify
                                                                                            poverty or “disadvantage” as a priority.
         The Workforce Development Strategy must
         include action to ensure that all professionals                                    The Children and Young People‟s Workforce Strategy


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Child Poverty Expert Group Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education                                                                  8
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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                       Initial Response
         fully understand the impact poverty has on the                                     will underpin these local Plans. Each Plan‟s workforce
         individual lives of young people and the barriers                                  section should describe how action to address its
         they have to overcome.                                                             priorities will be supported by the development of skills
                                                                                            and the training needed as a result, and how recruitment
                                                                                            issues will be resolved. The strategy aims to cover a
                                                                                            range of professions such as health professionals,
                                                                                            teachers, teaching assistants, social workers, lecturers,
                                                                                            careers advisers, YOT workers, youth workers and play
                                                                                            staff;

                                                                                            Part of the Strategy provides for introducing a Common
                                                                                            Core of Skills, Knowledge and Understanding for the
                                                                                            workforce to underpin children and young people‟s
                                                                                            personal development and the improvement of
                                                                                            wellbeing. It is planned to integrate the core through
                                                                                            professional training, induction, and continuing
                                                                                            professional development. Requirements that are
                                                                                            directly relevant to those experiencing poverty include
                                                                                            the need to:
                                                                                            Take into account the individual‟s culture, situation and
                                                                                            issues affecting their personal development in making
                                                                                            judgements about support needed;
                                                                                            Know and recognise factors that may adversely affect
                                                                                            development;
                                                                                            Know the importance of nutrition in development;
                                                                                            Know how to motivate individuals to achieve their
                                                                                            potential and to work with parents and carers to support
                                                                                            this;



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                                                                                            Give the individual the opportunity to participate in
                                                                                            decisions affecting them;
                                                                                            Know where support, advisory and advocacy services
                                                                                            are available locally; and
                                                                                            Know about national and local policies and programmes
                                                                                            that promote health and wellbeing.

                                                                                            Arrangements will be made to monitor implementation of
                                                                                            Strategy including through joint inspections of
                                                                                            Partnerships and Plans, and through evaluation of
                                                                                            changes made to training courses. The Strategy is
                                                                                            complex and covers a wide range of sectors, and the
                                                                                            implementation process will take time to achieve its
                                                                                            aims. The first implementation plan will cover three
                                                                                            years to March 2012.

  6.     The Assembly Government should establish a                     14-19 Learning      An integral part of 14-19 Learning Pathways is providing
         form of guarantee to all 14-19 year olds as to                    Pathways         learners with access to a unique blend of learner
         their entitlement to receive multi-professional                    Branch/         support, which offers impartial information, advice,
         support                                                         Performance        guidance and support, to help them to make informed
                                                                         Improvement        choices and overcome any barriers to their learning.
         Whilst ensuring sufficient resources for the                       Branch          Learner support services comprise three of the six key
         successful implementation of the ambitious 14-                 John Pugsley/       elements of 14-19 Learning Pathways. The three
         19 programme, consideration should be given to                     Graham          elements of learner support are:
         the discrete targeting of specific funding for the                 Davies
         most disadvantaged young people (e.g. Looked                                       • Learning Coaching - which will help learners indentify
         After children and young people with poor                                          the most suitable learning styles and keep them engage



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         parental support) who will, by nature of their                                     in learning;
         complex needs, require more intensive support.                                     • Personal Support - to help overcome any personal
         Additional support for complex needs should be                                     barriers to their learning; and
         part of a pro-active integrated multi agency                                       • Careers Advice and Guidance - to help learners make
         approach.                                                                          informed career choices.

         This additional support will be of particular                                      We are presently reviewing existing 14-19 Learning
         importance in the current economic climate when                                    Pathways guidance, the draft Learning Support Strategy
         disadvantaged young people are the least likely                                    and the requirements of the Learning and Skills (Wales)
         to get jobs and most likely to lose them at a time                                 2009 Measure and other relevant documentation;
         when public funding for support programmes is
         likely to be reduced.                                                              This guidance will clarify what 14-19 years are entitled
                                                                                            to in relation to Learner Support Services.

                                                                                            The Assembly Government have allocated £17.803m of
                                                                                            revenue grant funding to 14-19 Networks, for 2009/10,
                                                                                            to help support the implementation of 14-19 Learning
                                                                                            Pathways across Wales. Within this allocation Networks
                                                                                            are taking forward the provision of Learner Support
                                                                                            Services to ensure that learners can access the support
                                                                                            that they need to help them overcome any barriers to
                                                                                            learning. This support will be accessed by all learners
                                                                                            through their learning pathway but its greatest impact
                                                                                            will be on those who are most disadvantaged with
                                                                                            complex needs. Convergence funding, as part of the
                                                                                            Reach the Heights Project, will also support additional
                                                                                            CPD training for those delivering learner support
                                                                                            services within schools, FE colleges and Work Based



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                                                                                            Learning Providers, including support for those in
                                                                                            danger of becoming NEET.

  7.     The Assembly Government should further              School & LEA                   The Welsh Assembly Government is currently reviewing
         explore the potential of community focused          Effectiveness                  an opportunity to link the role of Youth and Community
         school approaches and delivering services in        Branch/Youth                   Workers with that of Community Focused Schools
         existing community or youth projects to ensure      Work Strategy                  Coordinators.
         that services are better placed to reach out to the    Branch
         most disengaged utilising known and trusted                                        It is also envisaged that colleagues will explore the
         community settings.                                     Cheryl                     possibility of agreeing key performance indicators /
                                                             Morgan/ Tanis                  standards for the development of services for young
                                                                Cunnick                     people and the potential to align budgets in order to
                                                                                            ensure best value use of resources.

                                                                                            The Community Focused Schools Grant programme
                                                                                            supports increasing community access to culture and
                                                                                            leisure opportunities as this can play a key part in
                                                                                            community regeneration. Offering community access to
                                                                                            school facilities for sport, for example, helps improve the
                                                                                            number and range of local facilities.

                                                                                            The Welsh Assembly Government has extended the
                                                                                            CFS programme (beyond its initial 3 years) for a further
                                                                                            3 years for LAs to continue to work with partners to
                                                                                            develop approaches which are right for and meet the
                                                                                            needs of their pupils, families and local community. In
                                                                                            line with this, Estyn in its recent report on the Provision



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                           Recommendation                                   Lead Official                       Initial Response
                                                                                            of Community Focused Services and Facilities by
                                                                                            Schools acknowledged that LAs have usually targeted
                                                                                            their efforts to establish integrated services centres in
                                                                                            their most disadvantaged communities.

                                                                                            However the Welsh Assembly Government will review
                                                                                            the CFS guidance issued to LAs to ensure that the main
                                                                                            findings of the Estyn report are considered, for example,
                                                                                            where Estyn concluded that few local authorities have
                                                                                            prioritised schools in their most disadvantaged areas.

  8.     The Welsh Assembly Government should ensure 14-19 Learning The Assembly are discussing the possible future
         a robust evaluation process is built in to the 14-   Pathways    evaluation/research on the success of 14-19 Learning
         19 programme to clearly identify what it is trying    Branch/    Pathways and will ensure measures such as attainment
         to achieve with regard to ending child poverty      Research & are included in the evaluation including Demonstrating
         and identify clear outcomes against which            Evaluation  Success which reflects the aims of policies for young
         progress will be measured. Ideally the evaluation                people in Wales.
         should contain a focus on; attainment and          John Pugsley/
         student‟s educational experience, and the              Jackie    Estyn will also be building the requirements of the
         potential future risk of poverty.                    McDonald    Learning and Skills Wales Measure into their future
                                                                          inspection framework.

                                                                                            Through Estyn's Common Inspection Framework, one of
                                                                                            the key questions is 'How well do learning experiences
                                                                                            meet the needs and interests of learners and the wider
                                                                                            community?' In making their judgements on this
                                                                                            question, inspectors will consider the extent to which the



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                                                                                            learning setting tackles social disadvantage and ensure
                                                                                            equality of access and opportunity for all learners. 14-19
                                                                                            Learning Pathways is about reducing the potential future
                                                                                            risk.


                                                                                            We develop a set of key performance indicators
                                                                                            including Demonstrating Success which reflects the
                                                                                            aims of policies for young people in Wales.




DCELLS Initial Response to:
Child Poverty Expert Group Policy Recommendations - 14-19 Years Education                                                                   14

				
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