Chapter 2: Colleges
Colleges and regional partnerships have built on progress made in AY 2014/15 to increase their vocational offering to senior phase pupils across Scotland. The experience of the 7 Early Adopter Regions, with findings from the pilot published in July 2016, have helped to inform this expansion. An important milestone was achieved in August 2016, when the SFC published its Gender Action Plan. This sets out the framework, timelines and actions required to address gender imbalance within further and higher education.
Significant progress has been achieved in re-shaping the quality assurance process to better respond to the scale of regional colleges and provide assurances to stakeholders around quality enhancement. The three pilot regions for this work reported in October 2016 and the new approach will be rolled out in partnership with Education Scotland across the sector in 2016/17. A greater emphasis will be placed on work placements within college provision and the College Work Placement Standard Implementation Plan will provide the basis for this work in 2016/17.
The College Outcome Agreement Guidance for AY 17-18 outlines the key priorities for colleges, including DYW, with a continuing emphasis on growing senior phase vocational pathways, employer engagement, STEM and gender action. Key challenges include:
- Supporting regional partnerships to grow the volume of higher level vocational pathways.
- Implementing the Gender Action Plan including colleges' plans to address regional subject level imbalances.
- Implementing the College Work Placement standard.
- Rolling out the new college quality arrangements across the sector.
- Formalising college links with new DYW Groups and further developing employer engagement with colleges.
- Colleges have created new vocational opportunities with partners and employers expanding the offer and opportunities for senior phase pupils across Scotland.
- In AY 2015/16, college regions worked with their partner local authorities to develop new senior phase vocational pathways and deliver their DYW plans. This built on the work of the SFC supported early adopter pilots in AY 2014/15 which involved 7 college regions, in partnership with 9 local authorities and 61 schools, developing 19 new courses at SCQF level 5 and above.
- SFC data shows there were 2,393 senior phase enrolments on college courses in 2014/15 compared to 2,101 in 2013/14 - an increase of 14%.
- Final statistics are yet to be published for AY 2015/16, however based on estimates the trend for increasing uptake of senior phase pathways is predicted to have continued in AY 2015/16 and early signs for AY 2016/17 recruitment also indicate continued growth.
- Foundation Apprenticeships were launched in AY 2014/15, with 2 pathfinders in Engineering in 2 local authorities and involving 2 colleges, expanding in AY 2015/16 to 5 frameworks across 20 local authorities and involving 15 colleges. As of AY 2016/17, there are more than 480 young people participating in Foundation Apprenticeships. Delivery covers 8 frameworks across 25 local authorities and involves 18 colleges. Two new frameworks will be available for delivery in AY 2017/18.
- Analysis of the AY 2016/17 Outcome Agreements provides evidence that colleges are continuing to develop their curriculum offering to meet employer and regional skills needs. Outcome Agreements contain DYW plans which outline how regions will prioritise STEM provision, enhance employer engagement and develop pathways from school through college and into employment as part of their wider contribution to DYW.
- The SFC's Gender Action Plan for Further and Higher Education was published in August.
- Colleges received £1.5m from the DYW Budget over AY 2014/15 and AY 2015/16, this supported a range of activity including capacity building to develop opportunities for young people, targeted employer engagement and development of gender action to address gender under-representation in subjects.
Progress So Far
|Delivery Year 2 - Academic Year 2015 - 2016|
|Milestone Over-View||Progress||Detailed Update|
|An interim evaluation of the early adopter programme published by SFC in November 2015 with a final report to be published early in 2016;||Completed||The Interim Evaluation was published in November 2015, with key findings promoted at the 3rd DYW Learning Event on 2nd December 2015. The Final Report was published in July 2016.|
|A partnership baselining exercise undertaken to establish the nature and effectiveness of local authority-school-college partnership in relation to Senior Phase Vocational Pathways, with a national level analysis disseminated to partners in November 2015;||Completed||A baselining exercise was undertaken to understand the nature, arrangements and effectiveness of local-authority - school- college partnerships in relation to Senior phase vocational pathways. This was shared with sector representatives and stakeholders.|
|Publication by SFC of an analysis of the commitments made by colleges in their 2015-16 outcome agreements - including plans to develop senior phase vocational pathways in all regions;||Completed||A summary of the aspirations and commitments made within the AY 2016-17 Outcome Agreements was published in April 2016. This included an overview of the plans for DYW including growing the senior phase vocational pathway offer.|
|Meetings with SG, Directors of Education and their Regional College Principals to consider how these partnerships are developing at a strategic level and the changes that have been introduced with the implementation of DYW.||Completed||A summary report of the strategic dialogue meetings with SG, Directors of Education and Regional College Principals was produced in Autumn 2016. Discussions with Directors of Education and College Principles on growing senior phase vocational pathways were held in all college regions in 2015/16. A key message from these was that the implementation of DYW has had an energising effect on partnership working across Scotland, raising expectations and demand for more effective shared delivery, helping partners to agree a shared vision of aims and priorities and to articulate their intended outcomes more clearly.|
|A plan from SFC to enhance college engagement in Community Planning Partnerships;||Ongoing||This work is being taken forward through direction contained within the College Outcome Agreement Guidance for AY 2017/18 around engagement with CPP partners in the development of the Outcome Agreement. Levels of engagement with CPPs will be gauged through a survey to be issued in AY 2016/17.|
|Young people benefitting from better work-related learning experiences;||Ongoing||The Work Placement Standard was developed in collaboration with College representatives and key stakeholders, employers were consulted for their input. It was launched in August 2016 and an Implementation Group alongside College Development Network will be taking this work forward in AY 2016/17 to highlight good practice and enhance and broaden the scope of work placements within college provision.|
|SFC report on college leaver destinations for 2013-14 leavers;||Completed||The College Leaver Destination Survey for AY 2014/15 was published in September 2016, it was enhanced from the previous year's survey to provide a readout for DYW KPI 4, of the 16-24 year olds for whom destinations were confirmed, 82.9% progressed either to higher study, training, work or modern apprenticeships.|
|SFC publishing their Gender Action Plan in early 2016 focussing on addressing gender imbalances and plans to address gender inequality more broadly working with SDS and other partners;||Completed||The SFC's Gender Action plan for Further and Higher Education was published in August 2016 it outlines the actions which will be taken in collaboration with colleges, universities and other partners to address gender imbalances. In outlining work to develop a regional school engagement strategy and combine the various strands of schools activity including advice, pathways and bridging programmes a key purpose and element of this work will be to tackle gender under-representation at subject level and overall male under-representation.|
|College Outcome agreements signed off for academic year 2016-17, with implementation plans agreed with local authorities;||Completed||Outcome Agreements for AY 2016/17 were published in summer 2016, including plans for their contribution to DYW priorities.|
|SFC developing a strategy to promote the value to employers of engaging with colleges;||Ongoing||SFC working with key partners including College principles to scope work required to promote the value to employers of engaging with colleges.|
|Capacity building to support enhanced employer engagement in the college sector;||Ongoing||The Work Placement Standard was developed in collaboration with College representatives and key stakeholders, employers were consulted for their input. It was launched in September 2016 and an Implementation Group alongside College Development Network will be taking this work forward in AY 2016/17 to highlight good practice and enhance and broaden the scope of work placements within college provision.|
|Regional curriculum planning established informed by Skills Investment Plans and Regional Skills Assessments;||Completed||SDS has agreed with SFC a process for the finalisation of Outcome Agreements for colleges that makes full use of Regional Skills Assessments and Skills Investment Plans. The guidance for 2017-18 Outcome Agreements reflects the need to make use of Regional Skills Assessments and Skills Investment Plans in the planning of college delivery.|
|New work placement standards for college learners published.||Completed||The College Work Placement Standard was launched in September 2016.|
Key themes and milestones for colleges
Achieving our ambitions for the young workforce requires a focus on the following themes in relation to colleges:
- Young people able to access more vocational options during the senior phase of secondary school, which deliver routes into good jobs and careers, developed through effective partnership between schools, colleges, local authorities and other partners.
- Improving opportunities and experiences for all learners, with a focus on reducing gender imbalance on course take-up.
- Provision aligned with economic needs and regional planning, with a focus on STEM where appropriate.
- Supporting college leaders and staff to develop the skills required to meet the Commission's ambitions for the sector.
- Further developing college outcome agreements to underpin improvements and measure progress.
The milestones set out below detail what this will involve over the lifetime of the programme.
During 2016 - 2017, we will see:
- College Outcome Agreements for AY 2017/18 demonstrating more opportunities for young people, building on the development of senior phase vocational pathways by April 2017;
SFC implementing their plan to reduce gender imbalance on courses which they will report on annually;
- STEM prioritised within college curriculum planning, where appropriate;
- A new standard for work experience in place for colleges by September 2016;
- SFC report on college leaver destinations for 2014/15 leavers by October 2016;
- Colleges Outcome Agreements will reflect active and effective engagement with employers and in the community planning process, regional curriculum planning established, informed by Skills Investment Plans and Regional Skills Assessments by April 2016.
During 2017 - 2018, we will see:
- All colleges offering vocational options to the majority of secondary schools in their region;
- College Outcome Agreements for AY 2018/19 signed off, showing evidence of well-developed partnerships with secondary schools, local authorities and employers;
- Publication of improved college quality and performance information.
During 2018 - 2019, we will see:
- College Outcome Agreements for AY 2019/20 signed off, showing evidence of well-developed partnerships with secondary schools, local authorities and employers;
- Vocational course options available across all schools.
During 2019 - 2020, we will see:
- College Outcome Agreements for AY 2020/21 reflect a regional curriculum, with vocational options widely available, informed by secondary schools, local authorities and employers.
During 2020 - 2021, we will see:
College Outcome Agreements for AY 2021/22 reflect a regional curriculum, with vocational options widely available, informed by secondary schools, local authorities and employers.
Education Working for All! Recommendations
This activity delivers recommendations 4, 5, 6, 12, 17, 29, 34.