Education Scotland - The Senior Phase

Curriculum for Excellence:
The Senior Phase
John Laird HMI / Gill Ritchie HMI
Transforming lives through learning
26th August 2014
New National Qualifications
• The national qualification system in Scotland has
• ‘Standard Grades’ have been replaced by new ‘National
4’ and ‘National 5’ qualifications.
• Literacy and numeracy will be formally recognised via
units within both English and Mathematics, and as standalone options.
• Access, Higher, and Advanced Higher qualifications
remain but have been, or are under review.
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New National Qualifications
• Colleges will admit learners in autumn 2014 with
National 4 and/or National 5 qualifications for the first
• New Highers and Adv Highers will be available for
delivery in schools and colleges from 2014/15,
• Highers and Adv Highers can be ‘dual run’ for one year
alongside existing ‘old’ versions of the qualifications.
• After 2014/15 only the new qualifications can be
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New National Qualifications
These changes to national qualifications have implications
across college provision, impacting directly on;
curriculum design,
programme delivery,
assessment and QA, and
planning for progression
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CfE: The Senior Phase
• Opportunities for All’ contains a commitment that young
people not already employed, be offered a place in
learning or training.
• Requires all post-16 providers to work together to
improve access, remove barriers, smooth transitions,
and work flexibly to support learner choice.
• CfE Senior Phase typically relates to learners in S4-6 of
secondary education (aged 16-18)
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CfE: The Senior Phase
• Senior Phase learners in schools are externally
assessed typically via SQA National Qualifications
• Corresponding learners in colleges study a broader
range of qualifications at SCQF levels 4 & 5
• For the first time, National Qualifications traditionally
delivered in secondary schools will be simultaneously
delivered in colleges.
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The ‘Wood’ Report – two phases
Interim report from The Commission for Developing
Scotland's Young Workforce, with an emphasis on
schools, colleges and vocational education published 5th
Sept 2013
Full report, Education Working For All! Commission for
Developing Scotland's Young Workforce Final Report
with an emphasis on employers published 3rd June 2014
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Interim recommendations
Recommendation 1:
• Pathways in the senior phase leading to industry recognised
vocational qualifications alongside academic qualifications.
• Pathways developed and delivered with colleges and, where
necessary, other providers.
• Their delivery should be explicitly measured and published
alongside other school performance indicators.
• Young people to have option to study for a NC from S4 onward
and /or progress to HNC in S5/6
• Other qualifications with labour market currency should also be
included in the range of vocational qualifications offered.
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Interim recommendations…
Recommendation 2:
• Focus on preparing all young people for employment a
core element of the implementation of CfE with
appropriate resource dedicated to achieve this.
Recommendation 3:
• Colleges' key role should be recognised and managed
through Regional Outcome Agreements.
Colleges must play a key role in significantly enhancing
vocational education in the senior school phase through
partnership with schools.
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Interim recommendations…
Recommendation 5:
• Commitment to supporting the development of
Scotland's young workforce through the enhancement
of vocational education pathways should feature
prominently in the National Performance Framework,
Community Plans and College Regional Outcome
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Education Working For All
Final report recommendations
Recommendation 3:
• Standard to be established for content and quality of work
experience, and guidelines should be made available to employers.
To be developed by Education Scotland in partnership with
employer bodies and SDS. This should involve input from young
people. Work experience should feature in the Senior Phase
Benchmarking Tool and in Education Scotland school inspections.
Recommendation 6:
• Commitment to supporting the enhancement of vocational education
pathways should feature prominently
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Education Working For All
Final report recommendations
• Recommendation 8: Development of Modern Apprenticeship access
processes and progression pathways should be prioritised.
• Recommendation 9: An industry-led quality improvement regime
should be introduced to oversee the development and promotion of
Modern Apprenticeships.
• Recommendation 17: Employers and national industry sector groups
should form partnerships with regional colleges to ensure course
content is industry relevant and full advantage is taken of work
based learning and employment opportunities.
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The new qualifications…
• Early indications are that many colleges are not as
well prepared as they could be
• Recent publications around the new qualifications
are recently/now/soon available
Professional focus papers - highlight important
features of learning which are enhanced or
different from previous qualifications at that level.
Available for all National 3, 4 and 5 courses.
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Key documentation and assessment…
Route maps through assessment a step-by-step
guide through key documentation staff need for
assessment, learning and teaching. Available for
all National 4 and 5 courses
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Professional focus papers
Biology National 5
Business National 4
Computing Science National 4
Modern Studies National 5
Practical Woodworking National 5 (Metalworking and Electronics incl.)
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Implications / Challenges
• Schools and colleges already collaborate well – but how
can this collaboration be extended to broaden the offer?
• The Wood Commission Report (Education Working For
All) is clear about the need to include vocational
education at an earlier stage, e.g. during the Senior
Phase – how is your college responding?
• Colleges are not implementing the new National
Qualifications uniformly – what is your college’s plan?
• Do staff at all levels in your college have good
awareness of the new qualifications?
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Implications / Challenges
• How is curriculum planning being addressed to ensure
implementation by 2015?
• Are admissions staff/ decision makers aware of the
content of the new at Nat 4 & 5 qualifications?
• Are school/college partnerships taking full account of
what colleges can do to extend the vocational offer to
school pupils in S4-6?
• How can colleges support schools with QA and
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• Education Scotland, SQA, and CDN are currently
discussing a multi-agency approach to planning and
delivery of support to colleges
• This needs to be informed by colleges – what do you
• Is the right support available or can we do more?
• Let us know – contact Garry Cameron at CDN with any
feedback ([email protected])
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[email protected]
[email protected]
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