Focusing Support On The User
The review has engaged with young people from the outset through a commissioned piece of research undertaken by SQW Consultancy in partnership with Young Scot. Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity.
The research by SQW involved the establishment of an Insights Panel - a panel of 12 young people aged between 17 and 23 - set up to co-design the research and provide input and guidance throughout. This group has led a total of 14 workshops, engaging 145 young people aged 15-24 from across Scotland.
Young people involved in the research also participated in a discussion with Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science. This discussion was part of a workshop event to test out the Scottish Government's emerging thinking alongside the views expressed by young people.
SQW's final report will be available in early June 2017. This will be considered alongside what we already know about the learning and skills system through our learner destination system managed by Skills Development Scotland.
Specific and targeted employer engagement is planned over the coming months. It is intended that this will involve three workshops across Scotland, building on the findings of the Enterprise and Skills Review and developed in partnership with Skills Development Scotland.
Engagement with Partners
Successful implementation requires significant collaboration, including across parts of Government, and so the programme is led in partnership with the directorates of Economic Development, Learning, Fair Work, Employability and Skills, Children and Families and Advanced Learning and Science, OCEA and through collaboration with external partners, and local government.
At a project level, the review will and is engaging with the multiple stakeholders involved. This includes between providers of education and training including local authorities, schools, colleges, universities, private training companies; the third sector; employers; our major public bodies responsible for commissioning learning provision, delivering career information, advice and guidance, and improving the performance of the system (Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland and Education Scotland); and other educational bodies responsible for qualifications, in particular the Scottish Qualification Authority. The Scottish Credit & Qualification Framework Programme is also a key partner, providing opportunities for illustrating the levels of different types of qualifications offered by providers to support progression planning.
Implementation is, therefore, planned to include engagement from:
Internal interested parties
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
- Digital services - Ensuring we maximise the use of technology and digital systems to support the accessibility and flexibility and choice.
- Communications - Ensuring we build awareness among parents, carers, employers and stakeholders.
- Equality & Diversity - Ensuring we improve the equality of participation and outcome for children and parents from different protected characteristic groups and those residing in Scotland's most deprived communities.
- Young people aged 15 to 24 years - engaged through user research.
- Parents/Carers - Engaged through user research and parent forum network.
- Employers - Engaged primarily through representative bodies, for example, the regional employer groups, Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board.
- Career guidance staff.
- School teachers, guidance staff and support staff.
- Community Learning and development staff in local authorities and third sector.
- Opportunity for All coordinators.
- College lecturers, guidance staff and support staff.
- University lecturers, guidance staff and support staff.
- Directors of Education.
- College sector
- University sector
- Professional associations
- Public Bodies/representative groups
- Education Scotland
- Scottish Qualifications Authority
- Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework Partnership
- Scottish Funding Council
- National Union of Students
- Skills Development Scotland
- Apprenticeship Advisory Board
- Developing Young Workforce National Group
- Universities Scotland
- COSLA/ ADES/ SLAED
Wider Policy Alignment
The review aligns with existing and planned activity across the education and training system (Education Delivery Plan, Curriculum for Excellence, Developing Young Workforce, STEM Strategy, National Youth Work Strategy, Student Support Review, Commission on Widening Access implementation and the work of Naomi Eisenstadt, Scotland's Poverty Advisor); and will take account of other relevant strategic and policy contexts (e.g. Scotland's Economic Strategy, the Labour Market Strategy, the Enterprise and Skills Review, the developing Fairer Scotland Action Plan).
The Scottish Government will ensure alignment between this review and the Scottish Government's School Governance Review which is to consider the roles and responsibilities of local and national partners in the delivery of education, including the establishment of a fair and transparent needs-based funding formula for schools.
Looking At Digital and Workforce Development
Noting the important key underpinnings of digital and gender equality within the overall learning and skills system, the review will consider both through the lens of two curriculum areas; software development and childcare. This will enable a consideration of a range of cross-cutting themes, including qualification alignment, types of learning experiences and the extent of progression planning, within the two subject areas. Both will enable a consideration of the actual experiences of curriculum planning and its design and delivery to respond to workforce and skills planning needs.
Actions For Change
Reflecting on the options available to the review, it is clear that outcomes of the review will need to be developed and implemented across schools, colleges and universities over time. Academic and planning cycles, will need to be considered. This will require further engagement, detailed planning and design, and likely significant and on-going work in relation to:
- Qualification design/joined up approaches to learning experiences.
- Joint curriculum design and planning.
- Transition planning for learners.
- Resource sharing and logistical planning.
- Shared measurements and integrated quality standards.
The review, therefore, acknowledges that implementation will take time and that recommendations for the short, medium and long term will be necessary.
On concluding the review in September 2017, the Scottish Government will move to implementation. In doing so, it recognises that some projects may require further review and development, further evidence gathering and consultation before implementation can fully take place.
As part of implementation, the Scottish Government working with the Strategic Board will organise a programme of work to take forward each of the approved policy propositions. Scope, budgetary considerations and oversight/governance arrangements will be reviewed at this point.
The Scottish Government recognises the likely complexity involved in this work and accepts its phased implementation, commencing in academic year 2017-18 and stretching over the lifetime of this Parliament - until 2021.
An important early step will be to work with the new strategic board on the implementation timeline and plan to help provide the requisite leadership and support needed to align the ambition between local, regional and national interests.
This engagement will involve alignment with the work on the data work-stream, and the work on skills alignment. This will be to ensure that our system of skills procurement maximises efficient learner journeys and that suitable metrics are developed, aligned with Scotland's strategic performance indicators, to measure the effectiveness of the learning and skills system as a whole and to inform investment across it.
The emerging metrics, and implementation plans will form part of the work overseen by the new strategic board as part of the effort to support an aligned and purposed single learning and skills system.