Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Education: Post-14 Shake up or Talk up

Radical changes are needed to the way post-14 education is delivered in Wales, a report is expected to say.

The review by Sir Adrian Webb, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan, into further education will be released to the assembly government.

More than 100 recommendations to improve education and training offered to young people are due to be outlined, and reducing the number of young people not in education or training is also expected to be highlighted.

Sir Adrian is expected to say changes are needed to close a basic skills gap which has been emerging over recent years.

The review is likely to address issues such as whether further education in Wales provides the kind of education and training people need for the jobs of the future.

Sir Adrian has said:
How do we ensure that in school, in colleges, 14 onwards, we have the kind of opportunities which will engage learners, all learners, regardless of ability and ambition, to ensure that we overcome the significant underachievement and we have the skills the economy needs, that employers need in order to take Wales forward? ...There was a need for "fairly radical change"
But he said there were also policies such as the Welsh baccalaureate that were proving successful and could be developed more strongly.

Sir Adrian was asked to lead the review into the further education sector by the assembly government, which had already identified the need to give consideration to the extent to which colleges should specialise and the focus on employability skills.

This review is crucial to education and training in Wales, and hopefully its recommendations provide the radical changes that need to be made.
But what must be mentioned at this point is that Sir Adrian is also a salaried member of the Welsh Assembly Government's Management Board which handles the day-to-day running of the Civil Service departments of the Welsh Assembly Government. He possesses no executive powers on the board and is there only to advise - so not as independent as we are led to believe.
We'll have to hope that it's not a case of, 'Let's all stand and sing hymn numbers 14 to 18 - as long as it's from the same hymn sheet.'


Anonymous 11 December 2007 at 11:26  

Think he's now left the board as they've recently advertised for two other members.

Anonymous 11 December 2007 at 11:57  

Sir Adrian was selected while still a member and there was an overlap.

Sue 11 December 2007 at 12:10  

Adrian Webb is well respected and transformed the University of Glamorgan while in charge. But it comes to no surprise that the Assembly Government appoints people who will give them the answer they want.

Anonymous 11 December 2007 at 15:12  

Webb is still part of the Management Board according to WAG's press release.

Freda Speech 11 December 2007 at 19:14  

Webb is part of Rhodri's gang and is looking for elevation- nuff said

Miss Wagstaff 11 December 2007 at 22:07  

I guess there will be a First Minister's resignation honours at some time in Wales' future :)

trefforest 12 December 2007 at 00:46  

Adrian Webb transformed the University of Glamorgan into a grant-grabbing machine with little regard for the standard of education.

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