Informal Vocational Education and Training

Article by Dr Richard Evans CGLI Learning occurs everywhere and at all times; people acquire new skills, knowledge and competences just by the virtue of their existence and experience e.g. it is truly inclusive. Learning can occur in a number of different ways largely determined by the context and resources available whether they are physical, human or financial. The OECD identifies three kinds of learning namely: formal, non-formal and informal. ‘Formal learning is always organised and structured and has learning objectives. From the learner’s standpoint, it is always intentional: e.g. the learner’s explicit objective is to gain knowledge, skills and/or

The Academy Movement

There’s nothing new under the sun, especially in education, as Dick Evans demonstrates in his latest dig through the archives. Academies are all the rage these days, with schools turning into them, large businesses making them up for their own workforces and Sector Skills Councils jumping on the bandwagon left, right and centre. It may be salutary, therefore, to remember the existence of a small number of dissenting academies during the eighteenth century that made a lasting contribution to scientific and technical education, particularly through their former students and tutors. The Academy founded in Warrington, which flourished from 1757 to

The Importance of an HE Framework.

The Tomlinson review could provide a turning point towards improving the UK’s global competitive capability. But delay will prove disastrous. Here Dick Evans provides some constructive suggestions to move matters forward. As a result of the Tomlinson review a great deal of attention and discussion is now focussing on the possible future shape and nature of the National Qualification Framework (NQF). The review was triggered by the fiasco caused by C2k and this has in turn created a number of other important inquiries and reviews including those looking at vocational qualifications and post-14 mathematics. The vocational qualifications review is being

Vocational HE

Bringing an occupational focus into degree courses may be considered an important aspect of Government policy, but is HE prepared and willing to respond? Dr Dick Evans provides an interesting insight. The crude oppositional approach to debates between vocational (training) and academic education has been a long and largely unproductive one. Many reports and government publications have over many decades advocated the merits of recognising the equal value of vocational education and training within the Further and Higher sectors. It now appears that this government have rediscovered the importance of vocational education particularly at the higher education level and through

Higher Education –A Rite of Passage?

Has HE become the modern day equivalent of the “world tour” for the privileged classes, providing little value to its students, and leaving them seriously in debt. Dick Evans explores. The recent fiasco about the funding of Higher Education has again highlighted the Government’s lack of a long-term strategy on this sector of education. In spite of the financial difficulties faced by the universities they still continue to promulgate the 50% participation rate for under 30 year olds. Many commentators have argued strongly that the figure is highly questionable in the light of the other problems confronting HE. It is

Thoughts on the New FE Sector

Richard Evans looks ahead to the problems and challenges he and his colleagues will face. After 1 April, the new further education sector will be established, numbering 550 institutions in all, and comprising colleges of further education, sixth form colleges, tertiary colleges and a number of specialist institutions, including those for agriculture, horticulture, art and design. The institutions will become incorporated and obtain independence from the local authority. The Government has indicated that further education is now top of the agenda for the first time in its long and credible history. Additional resources have now been made available, with the

Technical Education Matters

Dick Evans, well known to T Mag readers as a regular contributor, tells us why it’s important to stay up to date with history As a former student at a further education college, and having been employed in the sector for over thirty years, it’s natural that I have strong views. Many of you have been kind enough to listen to them over the years, not least in these pages. So you won’t be surprised to hear that one of the things I feel most strongly is that the area of technical education and training is not given the attention that

General Further Education Colleges.

Dick Evans takes time out to examine the role of General Further Education (GFE) colleges and suggest that league tables and inspection criteria often fail to recognise the role and scope of these institutions. Are changes necessary and what might happen if these don’t occur? General Further Education Colleges (GFEs) have always occupied an important place in the FE sector. These institutions form part of the FE sector along with others institutions such as sixth form colleges, tertiary colleges and specialist/ mono-technical institutions when managed by the FEFC and now are part of the extended network of providers under the

Mature learners.

Now is the time to recognise that older learners need just as much advice, support and encouragement as the 16-18 year olds. Here Dick Evans explains why and sets out an agenda for action. The current government policy, like many others before, on how to increase and widen participation of mature learners and realise their concept of lifelong learning is full of contradictions and paradoxes. In order to improve the knowledge, understanding, skills and competences of its citizens to cope more effectively with life and the challenges of the global economy and to recognise and prepare for the rapidly changing

Reflections on Learning Resources.

(Colleges and Providers). Dick Evans. Educational Consultant ABSTRACT: A reflection on the wider implications of the Learning and Skills legislation and developments in the Further Education Sector reinforces the centrality of the learner. The Inspection System has progressively moved colleges towards this perception for a fuller understanding of the significant role of Learning Resources, however defined. This theme, which has consistently been promoted by the LRDG in publications and conferences, should now attain its full significance. As a result of a recent LRDG conference on the impact of the common inspection framework I reflected on the wider implications of the Teaming