Ofsted criticises colleges for poor record helping ‘Neets’

Sep 12, 2014 by

The quality of teaching in English and maths is not good enough, careers guidance is weak and local authorities aren’t tracking progress effectively, according to the inspectorate

he necessity of tackling youth unemployment is hard to overstate. With a growing economy and falling unemployment, the fact that a significant number of young people continue to be not in education, employment or training (Neet) is concerning.

A year ago, the participation age in education and training was raised to 17; next year it will rise again to 18. This change was prompted by the need to ensure that young people have the qualifications and experience to transition smoothly from education into working life. These changes should mean that fewer 16 to 18-years-olds will be classified as Neet.

If we look at the wider 16 to 24 age group, however, a staggering 1.18m people are not learning or employed full-time. While the number of 16 to 18-year-olds in this category will drop due to the above policy changes, this will amount to nothing unless their time in further education is meaningfully spent.

Last year, the government introduced the 16 to 19 study programmes to try to combat this risk. Key elements include: providing each student with a tailored learning programme that prepares them for their next steps; ensuring that a much higher proportion of young people achieve GCSEs in English and maths at grade C or above; and making sure participants carry out meaningful work experience.

Given its importance, we’ve undertaken a review of how well the provision is working, visiting providers and using evidence from inspections and surveys. And, at today’s Ofsted annual lecture on further education, I will be making it clear that much more needs to be done.

Too many providers are simply not implementing the study programmes’ requirements. The quality of teaching in English and maths is not good enough and too much careers guidance is weak. Most importantly, many students are joining courses that do not support their aspirations; many struggle to achieve their career goals, and that’s if they even finish their course.

via Ofsted criticises colleges for poor record helping ‘Neets’ | Education | Guardian Professional.

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