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Education and Training


White Paper on Higher Education
. Recommended expansion of student numbers. 

Parents’ Charter. Gives parents the right to information about the school and its performance (updated in 1994). 

Employment Department began to pilot Training Credits or Youth Credits. 

Polytechnics of the 1960s granted university status. 

Further and Higher Education Act
. Removed FE and 6th Form Colleges from local authority control and established FEFC. Imposes duty on every FEFC to provide full- and part-time education for young people up to the age of 19. 

Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act. See E&W equivalent. 

Education Act (now consolidated in 1996 Act). Biggest ever piece of education legislation, which led to expansion of grant-maintained schools. 

Parents’ rights in special needs assessments extended. 

General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) introduced Adult training programmes Employment Training and Employment Action replaced by Training for Work

Learning for Work introduced as a fixed-term programme lasting one year providing opportunities for those who had been out of work for 6 months or more to pursue vocational studies to help them back into work, particularly those who would not otherwise be able to undertake vocational studies, perhaps because they are unable to obtain funding for course fees or living expenses. Participants had fees and some allowances paid. (Now ceased). 

Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs came into force, formulating a Transition Plan (at 14+ annual review) for young people with disabilities and special educational needs who have a statement of their special educational needs.

Modern Apprenticeships piloted. 

Accelerated Modern Apprenticeships announced. Specially designed for young people aged 18 or 19 at entry, and to run for 18 months rather than the normal 2½-3 years. 

FEFC stopped allocating funds according to whether a particular course was full-time or part-time. The funding level is now determined by the nature of the qualification sought. 

DTI White Paper on Competitiveness. Proposed changes that could lead to a clearer division between academic and vocational tracks from age 14. 

Minimum YT allowance set at less than Income Support for 16/17 year-olds living away from home. 

DfEE established. 

Youth Credits introduced in all areas of England and most of Wales and Scotland, name YT dropped.

 Modern Apprenticeships introduced as quality training on a work-based route with a fast track to NVQ Level 3, also with the intention that apprentices would have employee status. 

Dearing Report
Review and Qualifications for 16-19 Year-olds recommended the introduction of National Traineeships as a high quality, work-based option for school leavers and employers, building on the design features of Modern Apprenticeships but focused on achieving NVQ Level 2. White Paper Learning to Compete set out a new Learning Credits entitlement for young people to enter education and training to NVQ Level 3 up to the age of 21, but no corresponding entitlement to financial support was proposed.

Education Act. Consolidated all Education Acts concerning schools since 1944. Under the legislation for a National Curriculum children are entitled to an education which is broad and balanced and which should prepare them for FE and training or the job market. Defines compulsory school starting age of 5 years, as amended by the Education Act 1997 (not yet in force). Restates principle that pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents, and provides for parental choice of school. §509 sets out the duties of LEAs as regards home to school/college transport provision for post-16s. §47 requires LEAs to make arrangements for the provision of suitable education at schools or otherwise for children of compulsory school age who might not receive a suitable education for reasons such as illness or exclusion. 

Jobseekers Act. The number of hours for which a student could study without losing their entitlement to JSA benefit was reduced from 21 ‘supervised’ hours to 16 ‘guided learning’ hours. The hours regulation was now limited to staff-supervised learning, and excluded time spent in private study, provided students remained available for, and sought, work). Young people on Bridging Allowance can apply for a Secretary of State’s Direction enabling them to be considered for JSA if they can show that they would otherwise suffer severe hardship. 

1997 (January)
Report by the Commission on Public Policy and British Business (CPBB) published. Promoting Prosperity: a Business Agenda for Britain argued for a flexible, skilled labour force and identified poor education and training as responsible for unemployment.