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“My Government is committed to raising educational standards and giving everyone the chance to reach their full potential. A bill will be introduced to ensure that young people stay in education or training until age 18 and to provide new rights to skills training for adults.” This Bill is a key part of the Government’s commitment to achieve world-class levels of skills and to bring about greater economic productivity and dramatic improvements to individual life chances, responding to the aspirations of the British people. As a result of the Government’s wider education reforms, the numbers of young people participating post 16 have started to increase, and a stretching target of having 90% of 17 year olds in education or training by 2015 is now in place. Young people who gain 5 or more, good GCSEs earn on average at least 25% more than those without qualifications, and are less likely to have periods of unemployment. Raising participation will ensure that all young people – especially the most vulnerable - will benefit from the opportunities provided by continuing in learning. Low skilled adults will receive new statutory provision for free tuition towards a first qualification at key skill levels. This will build on the already significant improvements in the skill levels of the country’s workforce that have been seen since 2001, with more than 1.5 million more adults qualified to level 2. The purpose of the Bill is to: • The Bill would introduce a requirement to remain in education or training beyond the current statutory leaving age, and implement Leitch recommendations on adult skills.
The main benefits of the Bill would be: • More young people participating in learning post-16 and achieving higher levels of skill and qualification. The Government will introduce legislation to go beyond the current aspiration so that by 2013, all 17 year olds, and by 2015, all 18 year olds, are participating in some form of education or training. The Government needs to reach young people – often the most vulnerable – who are still not gaining the benefits of participation. In a fast changing world the UK is facing a national skills challenge and the skills of all young people need improving. The Government want to give every young person – including those on the fringe of society – the opportunities they deserve. Drive increased participation and achievement in economically valuable skills-training among adults, helping to deliver the vision of a nation with world-class skills by 2020.
Employers would benefit from increased skills through increased productivity, capacity for innovation, and profitability. Individuals would benefit through increased employability, earnings and career progression. The UK as a whole would benefit through increased productivity and economic performance, increased social cohesion and mobility.
The main elements of the Bill are: Raising the participation age: • • • A duty on young people to participate; A duty on parents to assist their children to participate; Duties on employers to release young people for the equivalent of one day a week to undertake training elsewhere (where the employer does not provide their own training), and to check whether a young person is participating before employing them; A duty on local authorities to ensure that young people participate; A duty on providers to inform the local authority if a young person drops out; A duty on local authorities to provide the support service currently known as Connexions; and A duty and a power on local authorities to assess the education and training needs of young people aged 16-19 with special educational needs.
• • • •
Adult skills: • A duty on the Learning and Skills Council to secure the proper provision of courses to allow learners over the age of 19 to attain functional literacy, numeracy and First Full Level 2 qualifications; A duty on the Learning and Skills Council to ensure that learners over the age of 19 can attain functional literacy, numeracy and First full Level 2 qualifications, and learners aged 19-25 can attain a First Full Level 3 qualification, without having to pay tuition fees; and Changes to the functions of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, enabling it to take a more strategic approach to the regulation of qualifications and eligibility for funding.
Inspection and regulation:
Rationalise the registration, monitoring and categorisation of independent schools and non-maintained special schools;
Related documents: • 474 • Raising Expectations: consultation report: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Raising%20E xpectations%20Consultation%20Report.pdf World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England: http://www.dius.gov.uk/worldclassskills.pdf Green Paper: Raising Expectations: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations/conResults.cfm?consultationId=1
Existing legislation in this area is: • • The Education Acts The Learning and Skills Act 2000
Devolution: The Bill extends to England and Wales. The Government will work closely with the Devolved Administrations on the responsibilities they have in this area.
Department for Children, Schools and Families Press Office Sanctuary Buildings Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BT Tel: 0870 000 2288