Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

LESSON FOR THE WORLD; A BRILLIANT CAREER IN TEES VALLEY New Scheme Will Change Education

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

LESSON FOR THE WORLD; A BRILLIANT CAREER IN TEES VALLEY New Scheme Will Change Education

Article excerpt

A world-leading attempt to redesign the education system around employers' needs could lead to major changes in received methods of teaching and redefine the relationship between businesses and learning providers, according to the man helping to lead the government's revolution in the classroom.

Speaking after a conference mounted by a unique partnership of bosses and teachers, led by the Evening Gazette, Chris Tweedale said the new 14-19 curriculum would be flexible enough to adapt to changing business environments and responsive at grass roots level to skills shortages. At the same time, the multiple choice approach to syllabus building for the new level two and level three diplomas - which broadly equate to the GCSE and sixth-form tiers - would satisfy those who wanted a more academic focus to their studies by incorporating existing elements of the exam system, including A levels. But every diploma would guarantee students left education with core numeracy and literacy skills - identified by nearly half of employers as being currently inadequate - as well as delivering 50% of learning in the workplace or in modules put together with employers.

The first five diplomas rolled out in schools and colleges this September were aimed at industries where most demand existed, said Mr Tweedale.

The diploma development partnerships (DDPs) that had been created between education and business by the regional learning and skills councils would now continue as a permanent feature.

"Initially, we thought the DDPs would disappear, but then we realised that if the qualification is going to remain modern and up-todate it will change with time. Now the proposal is that those partnerships remain in place and every three years revisit the spec' and put in place changes.

"The beauty of the design of the qualification is that it's a composite made up of lots of small pieces. The whole intention is that overall it will keep the integrity of the core diploma but young people will choose parts of it more relevant to their geographical area, interests or attributes. …

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