It’s sum­mer­time, and the read­ing is def­i­nitely not easy

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - FERRET -

IT’S SUM­MER, the most won­der­ful time of the year. Why? Be­cause

Fer­ret gets to go on his hol­i­days! He can usu­ally be spot­ted prop­ping up the ho­tel bar with a Sin­ga­pore Sling and rant­ing to strangers about GCSE re­sits.

But what should this year’s hol­i­day read­ing ma­te­rial be? Thanks to th­ese kind peo­ple at the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion, this sum­mer Fer­ret’s got no short­age of doc­u­ments to wade through from his sun lounger. That’s be­cause those tin­kers at Sanc­tu­ary Build­ings in­dulged in what ap­pears to be one of their favourite pas­times: clear­ing out their in­boxes for the sum­mer by pub­lish­ing every doc­u­ment they can find in the days be­fore par­lia­men­tary re­cess.

This year’s ef­fort was es­pe­cially Her­culean. Last week saw the

DFE pub­lish no fewer than 12 doc­u­ments per­ti­nent to the FE sec­tor – not least the lon­gawaited Smith Re­view of 16-18 maths. What a treat. Then there were the an­nual re­ports for the DFE, and the ed­u­ca­tion and skills fund­ing agen­cies. Oh, and the ESFA also pumped out 18 doc­u­ments of its own. Good ef­fort chaps.

FE bul­letin:

It’s fair to say that the in­ter­est value of the doc­u­ments was vari­able. High­lights in­cluded a re­port on the vo­ca­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tions mar­ket, which pointed out that the Post-16 Skills Plan’s pro­pos­als for one award­ing body per qual­i­fi­ca­tion posed a “risk of sys­tem fail­ure” if one or­gan­i­sa­tion fails. Well quite.

Less ex­cit­ing, how­ever, was a “ben­e­fits re­al­i­sa­tion strat­egy” on the ap­pren­tice­ship re­form pro­gramme

– but it did of­fer an in­sight into how DFE staff view the qual­ity-ver­susquan­tity is­sue. For the ob­jec­tive of “cre­at­ing more qual­ity ap­pren­tice­ships”, the means of mea­sur­ing this suc­cess listed was, well, “in­creas­ing the num­ber of ap­pren­tice­ships”. Il­lu­mi­nat­ing. Fer­ret might give the rest of that one a miss. But what next in the hol­i­day read­ing list? It’s a toss up be­tween the “post-16 in­sti­tu­tions om­nibus: wave 4 sur­vey” and “16 to 19 study pro­grammes: guide for providers”. Happy hol­i­days, folks.

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