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16+ Learning Choices: Policy and Practice Framework: supporting all young people into positive and sustained destinations


ANNEX 1: What constitutes an 'offer' of post-16 learning

Education in school
Attending school for all or part of the curriculum, in S4 (or S3 where a young person reaches their statutory leaving date in that period), S5 and S6. It might include a wholly school-based curriculum or a curriculum delivered by a range of providers, including schools, further and higher education, employers, community learning and development and third sector providers. The school should retain overall responsibility for planning the most appropriate educational provision for the young person.

Full- or part-time further education
Attending college and studying below the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework 19 level 7 (below HNC) (eg National Qualifications, Access courses, portfolio courses, portfolio preparation, pre-vocational courses, S/ NVQs, Highers/A Levels.

Note: Young people who are attending college for Personal Skills Development - delivered by another provider, not the college itself - should have their offer recorded as Personal/Skills Development.

Full- or part-time higher education
This includes attending university to study at SCQF level 9 (degree level), or an FE/ HE college to study at SCQF levels 7-8 ( HNC/ HND level).

Note: Young people who are taking a Gap Year but have a confirmed deferred place at university, starting in the following year, should be recorded as having received an offer of HE.

National training programmes
This includes participating in a National Training Programme ( NTP) (involving a contractual arrangement between SDS and a provider); a young person may be a trainee and in receipt of a training allowance, or an employee receiving a wage. NTPs include:

  • Get Ready for Work, excluding Lifeskills (full/part-time/ad hoc attendance)
  • Skillseeker - employed or non-employed trainee status, undertaking a VQ at SCQF level 5
  • Modern Apprenticeship - employed and undertaking a VQ at SCQF levels 5-7 in a specific sector

This is a dynamic environment, particularly as a result of specific programmes designed to respond to the impacts of recession such as the Pathways to Apprenticeship: partners will, therefore, require to keep abreast of national and local developments in relation to NTPs.

Employment (where this is not a national training programme)
Employment, whether with or without structured training, will involve learning and should generally be considered a positive post-16 learning choice. Broadly, employment covers:

  • all young people who consider themselves to be employed in full- or part-time employment (with a minimum of 16 hours)
  • all young people who consider themselves to be self employed and earning a living by working independently of an employer either freelance or by running their own business.

Where a young person takes up an offer of employment that does not include training, SDS will engage both the young person and employer in negotiating appropriate training for the young person.

Personal/Skills Development
Some young people are not yet ready for, or in the position (for any number of valid reasons) to participate in any of the foregoing opportunities. Where this is the case, individuals should be able to engage in Personal/Skills Development often, but not exclusively delivered by a community learning and development or a third sector organisation, as a stepping-stone to a positive destination. This includes a wide range of what will often be short-term learning and development combined with appropriate personalised support, such as:

  • Get Ready for Work Lifeskills
  • Training programmes that are not funded through a national training programme, eg provision funded by a local authority
  • Employment involving less than 16 hours and including either job-related training or Personal/Skills Development
  • Personalised programmes of support aimed at supporting progression into positive and sustained learning destinations
  • Activity Agreement delivered in any of the 10 pilot local authority areas

Note: The criteria for Personal/Skills Development will be further revised following evaluation of the Activity Agreement pilots.

Undertaking volunteering, which will involve a young person giving of his/her time and energy through a third party. It will benefit both the young person and others, including individuals, groups and organisations, communities, the environment and society at large. A young person will get involved in volunteering through choice, and should not be motivated primarily by financial gain or by a wage or salary. Some volunteering includes a financial allowance.