Discussion of the UK Government
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#347544
Fucking pathetic.
Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) (Lab): Ofsted reports that three quarters of the schools that it visited were not carrying out the duty to give impartial careers advice. That confirms what everybody out there knows: careers advice, information and guidance are in a state on this Government’s watch. When will they do something about it and protect our young people for the future?

Matthew Hancock: Yes, indeed, we are acting, having inherited a complete failure in careers advice. The Connexions service that the Labour party keeps talking about was well known to be a failing institution, and when it was taken apart, it was agreed across the House that that was the right thing to do because it was not delivering. Instead, we have put in place the sort of guidance and inspiration that will help and support people all the way through and into their careers. Ofsted will hold schools to account, and that is the right way to proceed.
That's the complete answer. I haven't cut it unkindly.

Mother of Parliaments!
#347546
Connexions failing? Maybe so, but the answer was not to scrap it. Connexions was around while I was between 15 and 24-ish, and I can absolutely say that it was very useful. It was also very much the first thing people thought of if they were having troubles with college applications, or how to get work. People knew where in town it was, and recommended it to friends. Being nationwide, it was also talked about online.

These days, the same service around here seems to be provided by the local council, with an instantly forgettable name (Which way?), based in a community hub right on the edge of town - at least an hour and two buses from the place I used to live. The answer would have been to invest and improve Connexions, because its name and reputation were well-known and quite well-respected amongst the people it was intended to help. A fragmented, whatever-your-council-can-be-bothered-to-do approach is going to leave young people missing out.
#347549
I find it hard to see how OFSTED can properly monitor careers advice in school because very often careers advice is given in blocks which coincide with when pupils have to take decisions on their exam options or six form apprenticeships . At certain times of years there will be lots of careers advice being given and at other points things will be fairly quiet. If OFSTED land at a school in September they probably won't see a lot of careers advice but in March and April they will see loads.
#347567
They refer to paperwork, self assessments and external validation (peer review, consultants).
#347593
Some.
In the case of our last Ofsted (or at least the last that I was involved in) they played the trick of using the school's self-assessment to identify weak teaching (as the school had) and observed those teachers more often than the good ones, then used the number of poor lessons they saw and made the percentage of bad lessons overall from that...
They also ignored the fact that the weak teachers were being supported/sanctioned/shifted.
#351377
Another sighting of the ridiculous Matthew Hancock here.

http://news.tes.co.uk/fe_blog/b/weblog/ ... finds.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Skills minister Matthew Hancock said that the research showed today’s apprentice could be tomorrow’s director.

“Either going to university or choosing an apprenticeship needs to become the new norm for school and college leavers. These figures support this aim and show that apprentices are able to succeed in some of the biggest businesses in the UK."
How backward we were when we some of us left school, got a job, with pay.

Given all the froth about Blair aiming for 50% of 18-30 doing some higher education, what figure is he suggesting go to university? 40%?

So that's 60% doing apprenticeships?

Utter rubbish.
#351379
And here he is again.

http://news.tes.co.uk/fe_blog/b/weblog/ ... -olds.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Two influential college bodies have today written to the government urging it to reconsider controversial education funding cuts that will hit 18-year-olds.

Last week it was announced that from September 2014, all 18-year-olds in full time education would be funded at a rate 17.5 per cent lower than 16- and 17-year-olds.

The news provoked an outcry from the further education sector and today the Association of Colleges (AoC) and the 157 Group of colleges said that they had both written to skills minister Matthew Hancock urging a rethink.

Both bodies said colleges, which teach the majority of 18-year-olds, will be disproportionately affected by the cuts.
That'll be meaningful education. Wonder if we'll see a load of those courses they were rubbishing before featuring?
#351380
Yes, but 'apprentice' bumps up the SEO, and you can pad out the covering article with file pictures of Alan Sugar, and it sounds impressive and the tabs love it.
#353414
Minister tells over-50s seeking a career change to become apprentices
Skills minister Matthew Hancock says middle-aged men and women should undertake apprenticeship schemes

Encourages over 50s to re-train as lawyers, bankers or accountants
Currently more than 425,000 men and women over 50 are unemployed
Cunt.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z2pdKnShSf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#353446
(This post is sponsored by Alcan.)

We need to see the detail of Hancock's proposal but this could be a very smart move.

A combination of skills obsolescence and ageism means that the future is particularly bleak for those over 50's losing their jobs and when they have potentially up to 20 productive years in them as well as a wealth of more general experience that they could bring to the workplace.

We know that there is a mismatch in the labour market where engineers, medics, certain teaching and professional staff are needed but the people simply aren't there to do those jobs. What is wrong with people, whatever their age, learning a new trade, paying tax and generally contributing to growth?

The question is, of course, how do they/the state pay for it and what happens to ongoing mortgage responsibilities etc?

Anecdotally, I heard that a system exists in France - or at least may well have in the late-90's - where you could go to uni for free once you hit 50 and study essentially whatever you fancy. If that is vocational too, it makes perfect sense to me.

On the other hand, I'd be flabbergasted were this government to have a progressive idea, let alone put it in to practice.

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