Mending the gap
Blog posted by: Esme Winch, Managing Director, Monday 19 February 2018.
At the end of January, NCFE and Campaign for Learning were delighted to publish our latest policy whitepaper, Mending the gap: are the needs of 16-18 year olds being met? Written by John Widdowson, Principal of New College Durham, the paper explores whether raising the participation age has worked, and makes a number of recommendations that could be taken to strengthen the policy.
The paper acknowledges some success in lowering the numbers of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET), but shines a light on a significant number of young people not participating up to age 18. For some people, the transition form school into further learning is a difficult one, and more could be done to support them.
We hope this starts a wider conversation about seeing policy reforms through, and improving them until they can be truly heralded as a success. The DfE are currently pushing through number of high profile reforms, yet initiatives they have introduced need to be given due evaluation and attention to ensure that they have the desired outcomes.
Encouraging all young people to participate until at least 18 year old is a noble ambition and would support T Level and apprenticeship reform. Our launch event was well attended by a number of high profile policy experts, employers and providers, suggesting that there is still a significant appetite in the sector to improve the policy.
The question for the DfE may not be whether there is the political will or appetite, but whether they have the capacity to consider these recommendations against a backdrop of large scale policy reform.
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