In the damp, dark, fag-end of the year it is easy to forget how much is going on in a wee place like Scotland to drive on the knowledge economy in School, College, University, Community and Workbased learning. Each sector is in its own way facing large transitional challenges
- Schools - dealing with Curriculum for Excellence, New Inspection Framework and roll out of GLOW
- Colleges - new Inspection Framework, national certificate developments, impact of recession and Curriculum for Excellence, emergence of Scotland's Colleges as a support agency.
- Workplace - UK Vocational Reform Programme and impact on Scotland, impact of recession, emergence of Skills Development Scotland as policy and support agency.
- Community Based - struggling with funding cutbacks at all levels and looking for new models of support
- University - perhaps not enough change but deep anxieties around funding.
There can be high levels of introspection in each of these sectors which can detract from their support for life long learning and the needs of our citizens. Schools can overly focus on schooling whatever that may be without reference to wider economy and vocational needs of learners. Colleges and work-based learning on too narrow a vocational skill set without looking at core skills , personal and social development and transferable skills. Community learning on engagement with but not progression for learners and Universities stuck on research while being inconsistent on skills , retention and the learning and teaching experience they offer.
Some of these challenges are not new - but there are increasingly useful internal and external developments that can drive change.
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