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Make funding for key skills a must

THE REPORT of the joint inspection ("Unlock potential of key skills", FE Focus, March 17) has simply reflected the experience of so many colleagues who have been battling to embed key skills in their centres for years.

Those who are given this uphill struggle cannot do it alone: without the commitment and high profile support of my own deputy principal, I would have long ago run screaming from the task. Senior managers in schools and colleges would best serve their centres by following his example.

The forthcoming de-coupling of key skills is not taking place across the board: some national training organisations are still insisting on particular levels of individual key skill for national trainees and modern apprentices.

Any expectation that underpinning knowledge for particular

levels of key skills can be provided independently in the workplace is often unrealistic, especially in the face of external testing.

The only real persuasion the Government has to offer is to make key skills compulsory for all in post-16 education and training - including the managers and staff - and to support this with the necessary funding. Then there would be no route to avoidance, no excuse for disinterest and no support for ignorance.

Margaret Richards

West Cottage

Shepherdsgate Road

Tilney All Saints

King's Lynn


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