Institute for Learning
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IfL responds to report on 16 to 19-year-olds’ participation in education and training

The Institute for Learning (IfL) has responded to the Education Select Committee’s report on participation by 16 to 19-year-olds in education and training, published on 19 July 2011. IfL’s response in May 2011 to the government’s consultation on the bursary fund was informed by the views of nearly 5,000 teachers and trainers who took part in an online survey conducted by IfL.

Toni Fazaeli, chief executive of IfL, said, “IfL believes that all learners deserve outstanding quality teaching and learning, delivered through a well-supported and professional workforce of teachers and trainers. While the committee acknowledges that raising the age of participation will lead to greater pressure on teachers, we believe that teachers, trainers and lecturers are key to its success and that constructive engagement must begin promptly to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.

“We welcome the committee’s acknowledgement of the risks attached to quality in apprenticeship provision at a time of mass growth. Trainers and assessors working directly with young people already deliver high quality teaching and learning and have been the key to the government’s success in this area. For this to remain the case, IfL will continue to support the profession by promoting continuing professional development opportunities.

“Support for 16 to 19-year-olds remains an important area of debate for our members, as borne out by the fact that nearly 5,000 teachers and trainers responded to IfL’s survey. We made it clear, as has been acknowledged by the select committee, that travel costs still require specific attention and that information to providers should have been distributed at the earliest opportunity.

“Members also recommended that in addition to the priority groups of young people identified in the consultation, learners from low-income families outside the stated income support thresholds, and those with mental health difficulties or learning difficulties, should be considered for bursaries. And vitally, members reinforced the importance of bursaries being linked to standards – for example, punctuality, attendance, assignments completed and behaviour – to help enable disadvantaged learners to succeed.

“We welcome the committee’s acknowledgement of the importance of independent and impartial careers guidance and the robust measures proposed to ensure that learners of all ages have access to a high quality service.”

Note

IfL’s response to the government consultation on the bursary fund was based on a survey of members, in which 4,936 teachers and trainers participated, and is available to download in PDF format at http://www.ifl.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/24996/IfL-response-to-DfE-16-19-bursary-fund.pdf

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