16+ Learning Choices: Policy and Practice Framework: supporting all young people into positive and sustained destinations

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ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

16+ Learning Choices demands a multi-agency approach, with shared-ownership and clearly defined roles and responsibilities. The Scottish Government gives high priority to young people and needs continually to ensure its policies deliver better outcomes for all of them, working with relevant stakeholders and supporting local delivery in doing so. Local authorities, through Single Outcome Agreements 17, have the lead role for progress on the National Indicator on positive and sustained destinations post-16. They, therefore, have the strategic lead - and overall responsibility - for ensuring that 16+ Learning Choices benefits the young people in their area.

However, local authorities alone cannot deliver 16+ Learning Choices. What matters is that local partners, collectively and individually, are clear about what they need to aim for in order to achieve universal delivery by December 2010; and thereafter, to sustain improvements on the National Indicator. They will need to be clear about each other's roles and responsibilities at both strategic and operational levels, and to deploy the resources available locally to best effect. Inevitably, this will involve continuous professional development for relevant staff to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to maximise their contribution; and rigorous mechanisms for quality assuring service delivery, premised on continuous improvement and value for money.

The views of young people themselves will be critical in determining the opportunities and support to be provided locally and parents and carers will be key to achieving the best outcomes for young learners.

Working in partnership with others is a fundamental way for educational establishments and services to help practitioners act in ways that make positive differences across transitions. 18

This section sets outs the roles and responsibilities for the key partners, focusing on:

  • learning provision
  • support for young people
  • data management

Schools, whilst under the auspices of local authorities, are shown separately to ensure clarity about their contribution to 16+ Learning Choices.

Local authorities

Strategically, it is for local authorities to provide leadership and direction on implementation; ensuring that all partners are clear about what is expected of them in supporting local delivery. This should demonstrate a clear line of sight between 16+ Learning Choices and delivery of the Single Outcome Agreement, and should articulate specifically with implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and with wider services for delivering better outcomes for young people. Authorities should also consider their obligations as 'corporate parent' in supporting post-16 learning choices.

Specific local authority responsibilities include:

Learning Provision

  • Supporting schools to develop and deliver a diverse curriculum for those staying on at school
  • Working with the wider Partnership to identify appropriate alternative offers for any young person whose intended learning choice is not taken up
  • Maintaining accessible information on the range of learning available locally and on local labour market needs (a pre-requisite for developing an e-Prospectus)
  • Monitoring the availability of provision and ensuring, with SDS and learning providers, that gaps, over-laps and over-concentration are addressed in a timely manner
  • Monitoring implementation, challenging performance across the partnership and co-ordinating collaborative approaches to resolve difficulties

Support for Young People

  • Ensuring appropriate resource allocation to support the authority's role in leading and co-ordinating sustainable delivery of 16+ Learning Choices
  • Working with SDS to agree the scope of IAG to be provided
  • Co-ordinating community learning and development partners to support 16+ Learning Choices
  • Mobilising services for young people to ensure targeted support where it is needed
  • Commissioning specific/specialist supports for particularly vulnerable young people
  • Ensuring that any young person who is - at the discretion of the home authority - learning in a school or other establishment outwith the home authority area, has an agreed co-ordinated package of support both before and after leaving school
  • Putting in place an offer of post-16 learning for any young person who has chosen to attend school or other learning establishment within your authority rather than their home authority area
  • Retaining responsibility for any young person who, at the discretion of the home authority, is placed in a learning setting outwith that authority area, eg Looked After young people: this will include making and recording offers and monitoring take up

Data Management

  • Working with partners, notably schools and SDS, to ensure robust data management systems and procedures to facilitate tracking and monitoring of individual young people; and to inform service design and delivery
  • Working with partners to evaluate the impact of 16+ Learning Choices on young people
  • Working with SDS to review/renew Data Access Agreements and that relevant staff understand the scope of the Agreements

Schools

Schools are at the heart of sustainable delivery of 16+ Learning Choices since they are the primary partner for delivering learning during the Senior Phase, and for supporting young people into positive destinations. Schools will wish to work in partnership with other providers and support organisations to ensure a sufficiently diverse range of opportunities for the young people who opt to stay in school beyond age 16. They will also want to build on existing post-16 transition planning, working closely with SDS and others, including parents and carers, to ensure systematic approaches to help young people make and take up their preferred learning choices.

School responsibilities include:

Learning Provision

  • Working with partners to develop and deliver a diverse curriculum with opportunities for progression in the Senior Phase
  • Providing predicted S4-S6 achievement and assessment results to local authorities and SDS to inform the planning of future post-16 provision

Support for Young People

  • Ensuring nominated lead responsibility for 16+ Learning Choices within the school
  • Ensuring that school staff understand the principles and purpose of 16+ Learning Choices and communicate its relevance to young people and their parents and carers
  • Working with SDS and other professional services to provide support for those most at risk of not having an offer
  • Joint action with SDS on key dates (eg prelim results, SQA results days, UCAS acceptances) to confirm provisional offers, and to give additional support to those choosing an alternative route in light of their results
  • Notifying SDS of young people not taking up intended S5 or S6 places, and leaving during, or at the end of, S5 or S6

Data Management

  • Early identification of all young people eligible to leave school across S3-S6, with added attention to those likely to leave at their first opportunity and those at risk of not having an offer
  • Reviewing/renewing - at agreed intervals - Data Access Agreements ( DAAs) with SDS; ensuring staff understand the scope of the Agreements
  • Supporting SDS to gather and analyse information on young people's intended post-16 destination, using this to shape the Senior Phase curriculum and to develop strategies for improving staying-on rates and positive transitions
  • Maintaining up-to-date information on offers received by young people and sharing information with SDS, including offers of a place in S5 and S6
  • Ensuring that Transition Planning Forms for young people with identified additional support needs are shared with post-16 partners to support progression
  • Supporting the SLDR
  • Completing the School Leaver Form; and sharing agreed data with SDS

Skills Development Scotland

SDS have a pivotal role in implementing 16+ Learning Choices at both operational and strategic levels. This falls within three areas of activity: as the national provider of IAG; as the national 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub; and in managing and delivering the National Training Programmes.

The importance of effective and impartial IAG for all young people within the Senior Phase cannot be overstated. SDS should deliver consistent high quality IAG across all local authority areas, ensuring equity of service for every young person. This will involve face-to-face guidance - on a self-referral basis - to all young people who require support. SDS will also work collaboratively with schools, colleges and other relevant partners to proactively identify and provide targeted face-to-face guidance for young people who are at risk of moving into a negative destination. Additional help and support will be provided for particularly vulnerable young people (see Vulnerable Young People section). For these young people, SDS will ensure co-ordinated face-to-face support - ongoing and intensive as required - to help them achieve a sustained positive destination.

IAG around the post-16 transition stage will build on earlier careers education aimed at helping young people to understand themselves, their strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes; and to explore the world of work and possible career pathways. It will be based on individual needs, achievements and aspirations and will use current labour market information as a firm basis for ensuring informed post-16 learning choices. Where necessary, SDS will commission appropriate support from other partners to meet the needs of individual or groups of young people in order to maintain their engagement in learning and work. Whilst consistency across and within areas is essential, delivery of IAG should be sufficiently flexible to respond to educational and local economic development priorities and the related impacts for young people.

To support this process, SDS is a lead partner in the development of an e-Prospectus and common application process ( CAP) which will provide comprehensive and accessible information on learning opportunities and help young people make more appropriate choices during the Senior Phase.

Ongoing tracking of individual young people will be key to ensuring they get the support they need to take up and sustain their learning. As the 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub, it will be for SDS to articulate a wide range of information on individual young people and their learning choices - currently, through its client management information system - Insight; and in the future, through an enhanced technical solution. SDS will continue to carry out the SLDR annually in September and the follow-up survey in March; and to provide national and local analyses of the information gathered.

On National Training Programmes, it is for SDS to ensure sufficient high quality places on Get Ready for Work, Skillseekers and Modern Apprenticeships; and to develop 'new' provision to address particular challenges in the labour market.

Responsibilities for SDS include:

Learning Provision

  • Reporting young people's intended destinations to the local authority, other partners and learning providers, by end October and end February for winter and summer leavers respectively
  • Working with local partners across all sectors to ensure the supply of provision (in relation to type and level of learning) matches demand from young people throughout the year
  • Working proactively with partners across the network of branded learning centres who commit, through the Pledge for Learners, to offer both formal and non-formal learning opportunities that widen choice and mode of delivery for post-16 learning choices
  • Ensuring SDS-funded provision supports delivery of Curriculum for Excellence

Support for Young People

  • Working proactively with other partners to identify any young person without an offer of learning, those to whom an offer has been made but not taken up, and those who have not sustained their learning choice. Offer intensive support to help individuals while the wider partnership identifies an appropriate offer and alternative support, if appropriate
  • Joint action with schools on key dates (eg prelim results, SQA results days, UCAS acceptances) to confirm provisional offers, and to give additional support to those choosing an alternative route in light of their results
  • Ensuring that young people who have an offer of post-16 learning outwith their home local authority area know how to engage with SDS should they subsequently need support
  • Tracking young people with confirmed deferred offers of a place in higher education, to ensure that they have the support they need to engage in learning
  • Tracking young people undertaking tailored provision for personal skills development and those on short courses to ensure further progression
  • Support young people to investigate and access opportunities presented through n- LOD (and the subsequent e-Prospectus) and other resources
  • Tracking and reporting on the outcomes of young people within the Senior Phase who have taken up an offer of a post-16 learning
  • Engage with young people who have dropped out of or completed a college course whilst within the Senior Phase, to re-engage them in learning
  • Working with Jobcentre Plus to help young people into employment and to ensure a continuum of support for young people applying for benefits, with ongoing tracking and recording of individuals

Data Management

  • Recording on Insight/the 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub offers made - within 5 working days of being informed by a learning provider
  • Working with schools and other providers to track and monitor individuals through the Senior Phase, recording agreed information on Insight/the 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub in a timely manner. (Local partners will require to monitor the young people with whom they are working; and to pass data to SDS using agreed systems.)
  • Ensuring all eligible young people (along with their current contact details) are recorded on Insight/the 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub
  • Establishing and recording intended destinations on Insight/the 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub, with support from the authority, schools and other learning providers
  • Reviewing/renewing - at agreed intervals - DAAs with LAs and other partners; ensuring staff understand the scope of the Agreements
  • Establishing Service Delivery Agreements with LAs and other agreements with specific learning establishments in respect of young people in residential schools or other learning establishments outwith the authority area
  • Joint working with Jobcentre Plus to provide data to local partnerships on 16-18 year olds who are engaging with both organisations to inform service delivery
  • Undertaking the SLDR and related follow-up, and providing detailed analyses in line with Agreements
  • Articulating and sharing agreed data internally and with other partners, including the Scottish Government to support monitoring, evaluation and improvements in service delivery

Colleges

Colleges are prominent within local communities and offer young people valuable and popular post-16 learning choices. The Scottish Funding Council has committed to supporting More Choices, More Chances and 16+ Learning Choices: colleges, therefore, have a key role in supporting implementation and ongoing delivery. In doing so, they will wish to ensure their offering fully embraces the Senior Phase entitlements.

Responsibilities for colleges include:

Provision

  • Working with local partnerships to ensure the supply of core-funded provision (in relation to type, level and timetabling) matches demand from young people, including those who are attending college for part of their S5/S6 school curriculum, and those who are progressing to college for post-16 learning
  • Ensuring courses, programmes and qualifications delivered through school-college partnerships articulate with relevant post-16 learning choices
  • Ensuring learning opportunities are available on a flexible entry basis
  • Collaborating with local partners to find suitable provision for young people yet to receive an appropriate offer of learning

Supporting young people

  • Ensuring that college staff understand the principles and purpose of 16+ Learning Choices and communicate its relevance to young people and their parents and carers, where appropriate
  • Ensuring young people's support needs are met in order to improve retention and progression
  • Ensuring college provision is uploaded to the n LOD and subsequently reflected in the e-Prospectus

Data

  • Informing SDS within 5 working days of offers they make to young people and ensuring that up-to-date details of current offers are available (eg start dates). Information should also be given to SDS of those young people who have applied for but not secured a place so that further support and opportunities can be provided
  • Analysing young people's experience and outcomes from courses and programmes delivered through school-college partnerships to inform progress to post-16 options
  • Informing SDS - within 5 working days - of young people who do not take up places, do not sustain them, or who complete a course or programme while still within the Senior Phase
  • Working with SDS to review/renew DAAs at agreed intervals; and ensuring relevant staff are familiar with the scope of the Agreements

Other Providers of Learning and Support

The diverse range of provision and supports which young people can expect to receive in the Senior Phase brings a wide range of other providers and support agencies firmly into the learning framework. This includes public, private and third sector organisations delivering National Training Programmes and other flexible, innovative and personalised programmes and courses; together with needs-led support in a wide range of settings and contexts. These partners make a valuable contribution, whether they are supporting schools to enrich the school offer; as a partner in college-led provision; or leading the learning in a training centre or in the wider community. Regardless of their contribution, they should support delivery of Curriculum for Excellence.

Responsibilities for other providers and support agencies include:

Provision

  • Working with local partners to develop and deliver learning opportunities which meet demand from young people, with clear progression to further learning
  • Ensuring learning opportunities are available on a flexible entry basis
  • Collaborating with local partners to find suitable provision for young people yet to receive an appropriate offer of learning

Supporting Young People

  • Ensuring young people's support needs are met in order to improve retention and progression
  • Working with SDS to ensure appropriate support for young people with identified additional support needs
  • Workings with other partners to ensure a smooth transition between episodes of learning
  • Ensuring relevant provision is uploaded onto the n LOD, and subsequently the e-Prospectus

Data

  • Informing SDS within 5 working days of offers they make to young people and ensuring that up-to-date details of current offers are available (eg start dates)
  • Informing SDS - within 5 working days - of young people who do not take up places, do not sustain them, or who complete a course or programme while still within the Senior Phase
  • Monitor numbers of young people applying for and not getting places on courses/programme - refer to SDS with individual-level information, including course details and reason for not securing a place
  • Working with SDS to review/renew DAAs at agreed intervals; and ensuring relevant staff are familiar with the scope of the Agreements

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus supports young people of working age from welfare into work. Their role in 16+ Learning Choices will mainly be through joint-work with SDS. Jobcentre Plus will provide support for young people who do not move into a positive destination to enable them to access employment and/or relevant benefits.

Responsibilities for Jobcentre Plus include:

  • Ensuring information on local employment opportunities is available to young people
  • Working with SDS to support young people through the benefit application process
  • Working with SDS to support young people under the age of 18, who are in receipt of benefits, into positive and sustained destinations
  • Working with SDS to provide data to local partnerships on 16-18 year olds with whom they are engaging to ensure service delivery meets local demand

Parents/carers and young people

Parents and carers will wish to be active partners in supporting their children to make effective post-16 learning choices and to fulfil their potential. They will want to encourage them to be both ambitious and realistic about their future learning and longer term career aspirations, and to help them to take advantage of the opportunities and support available. Undoubtedly, parents and carers are key influencers in their children's decisions and play a major role in helping them to consider their options and make informed decisions.

It will be important for partners to engage parents and carers (including local authorities as Corporate Parents) in their children's learning choices. The Curriculum for Excellence Parents Toolkit is a useful resource for helping parents understand what the Senior Phase can offer their children. 'Top Things to Know' about the Senior Phase can be found at http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/parentzone/CurriculumGuide/senior/topthings.asp, and information about options for young people leaving school is available at http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/parentzone/Startingschool/informationaboutleavingschool/Helpyourchildwiththeircareer.asp.

Young people should be fully engaged in, and take responsibility for, their post-16 learning choices, and will receive the professional support they need to make the most of the opportunities available to them. They should actively consider any 'offers' made to them and not dismiss them without valid reason. It will be important for individual young people to inform, their school or SDS Careers Adviser as soon as they have accepted an offer of a place in learning. This information will then pass to SDS for recording on Insight/the 16+ Learning Choices Data Hub. Young people will wish to be reassured that support, and further opportunities where it is needed, will continue to be available during their Senior Phase and that SDS will help them to re-engage in learning.