OfSTED published an interesting document on 21/06/2019 – Educational effectiveness research and further education and skills. The document discusses the importance of learning and the curriculum in technical and vocational education and training (TVET). It raises a number of interesting ideas about the purpose, type and quality of knowledge and skills delivery and whether or not education and training should be entirely responsive to employers needs or the needs to the learner.
Apprenticeship Delivery Effectiveness
What is most interesting is that in conclusion there is a range of themes about apprenticeship delivery effectiveness and it is worth looking at some of these and how education and training providers need to consider them in their preparation for the new OfSTED Education Inspection Framework.
These are the main concluding points:
- Providers need to consider, and sequence logically, ‘work-based learning’ and ‘classroom-based learning’
- Providers need to plan appropriate methods of assessment, including for WBL
- Providers need to consider learners’ prior experiences, knowledge and skills, in the planning of the curriculum (for example, realising that many refugees are highly skilled and highly educated professionals, and adapting the teaching of English accordingly)
- Providers need to maintain a ‘line of sight’ to employment or further skills and training
- Providers need to involve employers in curriculum design, delivery and assessment
- Providers need to recontextualise ‘disciplinary knowledge’ to fit vocational areas
- Providers need to understand that learners, in many contexts, need to learn about their employer, the occupational area in general, and the kinds of relationships and values that are important in their sector
- Providers need to understand that different approaches might be effective in different occupational sectors
- Teachers’ have dual professional roles, and the need to maintain their industry knowledge as well as their pedagogical skills
- Providers should consider the simulated and authentic practice of workplace skills
- Providers need to offer industry-standard resources and learning environments for vocational courses
- Providers need to develop a curriculum that prepares learners for further study and careers, not just for their immediate jobs.
Importance of Curriculum Planning
Essentially, the planning of the curriculum is the most important aspect in addressing these conclusions. We have already seen from the publication of OfSTED’s new Education Inspection Framework that a new judgement, “Quality of Education” is going to be central to inspections from September 2019. Inspectors will focus on Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact.
When creating a programme curriculum, education and training providers need to consider each of the curriculum areas. The intent is all the planning before teaching takes place. A word of caution – do not think that a brief statement on a website or document with a list of aims constitutes curriculum intent. Curriculum intent is the framework for setting out the aims. Think about:
- The knowledge, skills and behaviours that learners have to develop
- How and what you are going to deliver
- How you are going to measure the impact of your delivery
- How you are going to sequence the curriculum
The sequence of a curriculum is also hugely important. It cannot just be a vague timetable to events. There needs to be detail. What are you going to deliver and when? What KSB’s does the activity cover. How will it help develop the skills and knowledge required by learners? What resources are you going to use?
how carefully leaders have thought about the sequence of teaching knowledge and skills to build on what learners already know and can do.
As well as planning the curriculum activities, apprenticeship providers also have the added complication of ensuring that the curriculum meets the 20% Off the Job Learning requirement. Providers will need to consider how many hours each activity will take. However, they also need to ensure that they can demonstrate, with evidence, that the 20% Off the Job Learning has been achieved.
These are interesting times for apprenticeship providers. Not only has the introduction of Apprenticeship Standards and changes in funding (Levy and Non-Levy) caused large-scale changes but the introduction of the OfSTED Education Inspection Framework (EIF) is going to exacerbate the changes that providers will need to introduce. It is only a month until the new EIF will be used by inspectors and providers will need to implement these curriculum changes now.