ProFile reforms deserve to be accorded a higher profile

14th March 1997 at 00:00
The announcement, on February 24, of the launch of "ProFile" to replace the national record of achievement was a quiet affair, reflected in Mark Whitehead's "low-key" report (TES, February 28).

The launch is the product of recommendations to the minister following the Dearing Review of Qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds.

The recommendations are premised upon issues that relate to the changing nature of work, globalisation and economic competition, the need for leavers to manage their own learning and to secure a commitment to Lifelong Learning.

Fundamental to these issues is the urgent need to empower learners to become self-reliant, flexible, adaptable, to know their own strengths and weaknesses and to become intrinsically motivated to improve and develop.

The loss of lifelong employment and the concept of the "portfolio worker" would further require human resource development which should enable people to be able to cope with uncertainty, take risks, recognise opportunity and to be consistently committed to personal development and improvement.

What this implies is a cultural shift in the way learning is delivered.

ProFile, like the NRA before it, is underpinned by a simple process of target-setting, action planning and review. This process should define the culture of learning so that we can move forward to meet the challenges above.To define ProFile as a summary document merely to inform selection and recruitment entirely misses the point and will ensure that it suffers the same unfulfilled potential as the NRA. ProFile needs a high profile.

CLIFF HARRIS Assessment Development Officer Devon Curriculum Advice Assessment Unit Falcon Road Sowton Exeter

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