We’re calling for a variety of actions such as making sure everyone is funded to get their first level 3 qualification, starting with under 25s and then extending this. We want young people to have to engage with training or education until they are 18. We also want to build on the new Curriculum Bill to allow learners aged 14-16 to have better access to vocational and technical pathways. Digital inclusion has been a big issue so we want all learners in Wales to have access to devices for digital learning, the right software and high-speed internet access. And lastly, we’re asking for a commitment to deliver a 3 year FE budget to enable more effective planning.
The next Welsh Government should:
- Change the statutory basis of education to allow for funded entitlement to access a first Level 3 qualification in Welsh or English up to and including all those to age 25, in the first instance, with a commitment to extending this entitlement to all adults. As part of this, raise the age of compulsory engagement with education or training to 18, including the necessary access to independent advice and guidance for all learners.
- Build on the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill and the consequential impact on 14-19 learning pathways to provide a legal basis for learners aged 14-16 to progress to vocational and technical pathways provided independently via Further Education Institutions, and the necessary funding to support these learners. The delivery of vocational general education qualifications should be reserved for schools and colleges with the specific designation as centres for initial technical and vocational learning.
- Introduce a ‘digital entitlement’ for all learners – a future Welsh Government should commit to providing digital devices for all learners and using all means available to improve access to high-speed internet across all parts of Wales. As part of this, the provision of appropriate spaces for learners to study must also be taken into consideration.
- Commit to and deliver a three-year budget for Further Education to enable more effective planning.
Expanding citizens’ entitlement and engagement with education
We highlight the need to expand citizens’ engagement with education by changing the statutory basis for post-16 education and by providing a digital entitlement to learning.
In this first Podcast episode, Rachel Bowen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at ColegauCymru is joined by ColegauCymru Chair and Chief Executive of Coleg Gwent, Guy Lacey and Chief Executive of Addysg Oedolion Cymru / Adult Learning Wales – The National Community College - Kathryn Robson to discuss Expanding citizens’ entitlement and engagement with education.