Most Wolf report recommendations now implemented, says government

Most of the recommendations made in the groundbreaking Wolf report into 14-19 vocational education have now been implemented, the government claims.

In a new document the Department for Education says 20 out of the 27 recommendations have been implemented in full.

Professor Alison Wolf, of King’s College London, was commissioned to carry out an independent review of vocational education in 2010. She was asked to look at how vocational education for 14 to 19-year-olds could be improved and to give practical recommendations to help inform future policies.

The review took in more than 400 pieces of evidence and resulted in a 200-page report published the following year.

It said there were too many low-value vocational qualifications that were not helping thousands of young people into employment.

It made 27 recommendations on various topics, including qualifications, funding, curriculum, teaching and apprenticeships.

The DfE document says as a direct result of the recommendations a number of reforms have been made, including a redesign of apprenticeships by employers to meet employer needs and only approved lists of vocational qualifications counting towards performance tables.

Other changes include students who have not achieved grades A*-C at GCSE English or Maths having to continue to study the subjects to 18; and the introduction of ‘per-student’ funding for colleges instead of per-qualification.

Deborah Ribchester, senior policy manager for 14-19 education and curriculum at the Association of Colleges (AoC), said the per-student funding change was the most significant.

“Colleges are also teaching the students who have yet failed to achieve A* to C grades in GCSE English and maths, which Alison Wolf identified as key indicators for future success," she said.

"This is a major challenge for colleges in finding the extra teachers and examination facilities required but they recognise the benefit it will bring to students.

“CPD for maths teachers, also recommended by Alison Wolf, means staff will be better able to support these students who may have become disaffected from education.”

Related stories

Funding cut for 1,600 more skills qualifications, SFA announces - February 2015

Government publishes final list of vocational qualifications - December 2014

Colleges to track student progress after education as part of 'demanding' new regulations - March 2014

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