29 September 2011

Getting to Grips with the Curriculum

ColegauCymru / CollegesWales has responded to today’s announcement by the Deputy Minister for Skills of a Review of Qualifications for 14-19 year olds in Wales by organising a conference on qualifications on 2 February 2012 to feed into the consultation process.

Chief Executive of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, John Graystone, said: “I am pleased that the national debate on qualifications, first encouraged by the Education Minister Leighton Andrews in February, now has a structure and we can all start to get to grips with the key issues over the coming year.

“I’m sure we all agree that what Wales needs  is a simplified qualifications system that includes up-to-date, relevant general and vocational qualifications that are understood and valued by students, employers, entrepreneurs and universities.  Progression from one level of learning to the next is particularly important, as well as preparing learners for the world of work.

“Fundamentally, we urgently need to raise literacy and numeracy across all ages. Literacy and numeracy rates are unacceptably low in Wales.  We need a standard measure to assess learners’ starting point and to track progress.  A single, common literacy test used in schools and by all post-16 learning providers would be a step in the right direction.

“Too many learners arrive at further education colleges with low literacy and numeracy levels and are consequently held back from enrolling on a higher level course until they have received enough additional support to raise them to the level required for entry onto a technical or academic course. Progression from one level of learning to the next must therefore be a focus of the Review of Qualifications – from basic skills through to higher education. Wales cannot afford for its 14-19 year old learners not to reach their potential.

“ColegauCymru / CollegesWales is keen to work closely with  the team carrying out the Review of Qualifications and has already taken steps to organise a major conference on 2 February 2012 that will feed into the Review. A senior line-up of key speakers is being confirmed, including the Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert and Professor Alison Wolf who chaired the Review of Vocational Qualifications for the Government in England recently.”

Contact: Sylvia Davies on 029 2052 8384 or 07968 771913.

Notes to editors:

1. ColegauCymru / CollegesWales was previously known as fforwm. It is a national educational charity that represents all 20 further education (FE) colleges and institutions in Wales. Its mission is to raise the profile of further education with key decision-makers to improve opportunities for learners in Wales. For further information about ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, and the colleges it represents, visit www.colegaucymru.ac.uk or www.collegeswales.ac.uk

2. The Deputy Minister announced the Review of Qualifications on 29 September 2011 at a Business Skills meeting in Swansea. A Welsh Government press notice is here: http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/educationandskills/2011/110929qualifications/?lang=en


ColegauCymru, Uned 7, Cae Gwyrdd, Greenmeadow Springs, Tongwynlais Caerdydd, CF15 7AB. E:helo@colegaucymru.ac.uk Ff: 029 2052 2500
CollegesWales, Unit 7, Cae Gwyrdd, Greenmeadow Springs, Tongwynlais Cardiff, CF15 7AB. E:hello@collegeswales.ac.uk T: 029 2052 2500