Publication - Progress report

Enterprise and Skills Review report on Phase 2: 15-24 Learner Journey

Published: 22 Jun 2017
Economic Development Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Work and skills

Report illustrating the outcomes and progress achieved by the 15-24 Learner Journey project as part of the Enterprise and Skills Review.

14 page PDF

1.8 MB

14 page PDF

1.8 MB

Enterprise and Skills Review report on Phase 2: 15-24 Learner Journey
3. Delivering Better Outcomes

14 page PDF

1.8 MB

3. Delivering Better Outcomes

The Review will take forward a series of recommendations that build on key Scottish Government strategies and policies already in place in relation to the 15-24 learning system: for example, Curriculum for Excellence, Developing Young Workforce, Widening Access, and Raising Attainment.

In particular, the Review takes at its starting point:

  • Work that impacts upon the 15-24 Learner Journey that is already underway and which we need to continue (for example, the work of the Developing Young Workforce Programme).
  • Work that impacts upon the 15-24 Learner Journey that is already underway and which we need to further enhance (for example, the work of the Commission on Widening Access, Student Support Review).

Building on this, the review will focus on new strategy, policy and activity which we need to develop in order to achieve the desired improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of the 15-24 Learner Journey. This will be achieved through the following projects:

Project Outcome
1 Learner Choice And Application
  • Improved information, advice and application processes
    This will include evaluating the cost/benefit of a learner choices and applications service which brings together student support information and the careers, advice and information system on My World of Work with UCAS, Apprenticeship on line and a new college application process.
2 Learner Choice And Application: Colleges & Universities
  • Improved information and advice in colleges and universities
    This will include a review of current careers, advice and guidance services for learners in college and university.
3 Access & Application
  • Improvement to the ease and equity with which young people can apply to college
    Recognising the work already being taken forward as part of the Commission for Widening Access, this will focus specifically on evaluating the benefits and costs/of a common application process for colleges.
4 Provision Transition/Progression
  • Improvement to the design, alignment and coherence of the 15-24 learning journey
  • Improvement to the ease with which all young people move through their learning, regardless of where they are studying.
    This will include evaluating the opportunities and 15-24 Learner Journey choices in and across schools, colleges and community/third-sector-based learning. Identify and consider any unnecessary duplication of learning. We will establish options for removing unnecessary repetition and maximising progression through levels of study in or between school, community, college, training and university.
5 Funding, Structures, Legislation Improvement to the learning and skills system including removing unnecessary duplication We will develop a system-wide analysis of unit cost and rate of return across school, community, college, training (including employability programmes), and university. This will include agreement on a set of principles underpinning the learning and skills system, in relation, for example, to the value added from dual investment at different stages of learning. We will use this to inform options for the future balance and method of investment and consider the future strategic direction of the learning system in Scotland. If successful this will tell us more about whole life/whole system costs, including, for example, the experience and outcomes of those with ASN, disabilities and health conditions. However, given the complexity and breadth of this work, it will not be fully concluded in the time of this review. This work will, though, be an on-going Scottish Government commitment as we continue to pursue a more joined-up system.

Drawing this all together from a system perspective, and taking stock of what already works well, the review, has identified a number of emerging options that could be pursued to remove unnecessary duplication and to shorten learner journeys to make the best contribution to improving the productivity of public investment.

These options include, for example:

  • Increased progression from community and employability provision back into learning and employment.
  • Increased progression from school to employment.
  • Increased progression from school to higher education in college.
  • Increased progression from S5 to HNC in college/year one of university.
  • Increased progression from S6 to HND in college/year 2 of university.
  • Increased articulation from an HNC in college to year 2 of university.
  • Increased articulation from an HND in college to year 3 of university.
  • Strengthening the links between employment and education, for example, through Graduate level apprenticeships and clearer pathways to skills.
  • Structural changes in relation to the recognition of level and volume of academic credit within the SCQF.

To help better scope these options, the review has begun to consider the implications that differing levels of collaboration and scale of change might have on the efficiency of the journeys of the learning and skills system. These are summarised in the table overleaf.

Each option presents the opportunity for a blend of different learner journeys appropriate to different learners' needs, building on what already works well and which make the best use of the strengths of partners.

1. Maintain existing activity

Driving value from the existing system, through improvement plans based on existing structures, levers and arrangements.

Some pros/cons of this approach:

  • Could be more easily accepted by the system; straightforward to implement.
  • Lowest risk, however presentational risk in relation to the impact of the review.
  • Impact is slow to realise, prospect of limited change to the experience of learners in the medium term.
  • Risk of failure to keep pace with future learner and system needs and failure to deliver greater efficiency.
  • Maintains diversity challenges that are already in the system for longer (although doesn't create new unintended consequences).

Illustrative options:
1. Continued growth in school-college collaboration to broaden school choices and to make more pathways available to young people in the senior phase.
2. Continued initiatives to support some growth in S5-yr 1 university progression.
3. Continued initiatives to support some growth in S6-yr 2 university progression.
4. Continued initiatives to support some growth in college to university articulation.
5. Growth in college franchised degrees.
6. Growth of university summer school programmes.

2. Do more with existing partnerships

Strengthening and creating new levels of deeper collaboration to deliver and configure existing provision in new ways.

Some pros/cons of this approach:

  • Strengthens and deepens existing partnership working.
  • Easier to implement.
  • More acceptable levels of risk.
  • Improved efficiency without the significant costs of reconfiguration of the learner system.
  • Harder to realise savings and likely to fail to keep pace with future learner and system needs.

Illustrative options:
1. A strengthening of the senior phase with greater and deeper college and university involvement in school.
2. Greater articulation from college through an expansion of associate student models and development of new models.
3. Increased college delivery of franchised degrees, especially in industries where the recognised qualification for entry is a degree.
4. Increased school, college and employer collaboration to deliver a greater volume of foundation apprenticeships/National Certificates/ VQ and HN qualifications in S4 to S6.

3. Collaborate in new ways with greater agility and flexibility in the system

Make some changes to parts of the existing system, including the possibility of better purposing and establishing new expectations of parts of the system.

Some pros/cons of this approach:

  • Since change is not whole system wide there is lower cost and risk associated.
  • There is a risk that pace of change is slow, and impact can be unpredictable given that change occurs in pockets and not across the system as whole.

Illustrative options:
Some additional routes could be explored as part of building a more flexible and efficient learner journey, such as:

  • Repurposing existing collaboration between schools, colleges and universities and employers to create new regional partnerships, whereby the senior phase is co-designed and co-delivered.
  • New accelerated degree programmes.
  • Significant expansion of Graduate Apprenticeships with more significant engagement with and leadership from employers.

4. Reconfigure

The most ambitious approach, making significant changes to the learning system to do new things in new ways.

Some pros/cons of this approach

  • Future looking.
  • Designed with the learner at the centre, likely to yield most significant benefits for them.
  • Leads change and delivers innovation in collaboration.
  • Greatest complexity and high risk in the short term, potential for greatest impact on Scotland's economic strategy and, if the right safeguards are in place, has the greatest potential for efficiency and effectiveness savings for both the learner and the state.

Illustrative options:
1. No duplication of SCQF levels at school, college or university; with consistently applied exceptions based on individual need.
2. New Technical Education System with streamlined pathways to skilled employment.