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A report, commissioned by Capita, has found that schools still have a lot of work to do to ensure their 14-19 partnerships will be successful.

The 'Meeting the 14-19 Challenge' White Paper (http://www.sims.co.uk/14-19challenge) reports that one of the most significant challenges of the reforms to the 14-19 curriculum will be keeping on top of a student's progress whilst they are studying at multiple schools and colleges to gain their new, more vocational post-14 qualifications.

The government has set out that no child should be denied access to learning a particular diploma subject simply because their school does not cater for it. To achieve this, schools, colleges and workplaces are partnering together to offer pupils access to a greater number of subject options.

“Schools will retain full responsibility for their students while they are studying off site at partner establishments. It is therefore imperative that schools examine how they plan to remain in control of their student’s progress and wellbeing to ensure they fulfil their role as the child’s core education provider under this new arrangement,” states Phil Neal, Director of SIMS for Capita.

One of the contributors to the report, Russell Ball, Director of the Stevenage 14-19 Partnership said of the reforms: "If you are a young person, it means you have a possible combination of anything up to 3,500 subject choices. That's the good news the bad news is coordinating that."

The report examines how school partnerships can practically share information automatically using data from the schools' management information systems so that when a student turns up for an engineering lesson in the local FE college or heads off to the specialist language teacher at the school 2 miles away, the teacher knows something about them before they arrive what their predicted grades are, if they struggle with reading or if they have a severe medical issue.

The paper reveals that schools also need to consider issues far wider than those relating to data sharing. Does a grade B in one school mean the same as a grade B in another, for example? If not, when assessment data is shared the grades will not be of value to the student's home school tutor.

Colin Money, 14-19 Partnership Coordinator at the Kingswood Partnership in Bristol said: "It became clear that the exchange of student information was crucial to our ability to embrace the changes to 14-19 education. But it was not the whole story. Common decisions relating to timetabling, school policy, finance even marketing and administration needed to be agreed to ensure that the partnership with schools can work more effectively.”

ENDS

Ref: CAP390 Date: 19 September 2008

Notes to the editor:

By 2013, every young person will have an entitlement to choose any one of
the 14 new diplomas.

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/publications/14-19implementationplan/...
(page 5)

Both Phil Neal from Capita and contacts at The Kingswood Partnership are
available for interview on this topic, please see contact Catherine Lane (details below) to arrange an interview.

For a copy of the white paper please contact Catherine Lane (details
below) or visit http://www.sims.co.uk/14-19challenge

Capita contact:

Graham Cooper, Head of Marketing, Capita, Franklin Court, Priory Business Park, Cardington, Bedford, MK44 3JZ. Tel: 01234 838 080 Email graham.cooper@capita.co.uk
Website: www.sims.co.uk

The Kingswood Partnership Contact:

Tony Booth, e-Learning Development Manager, The Kingswood Partnership, Tel:
01454-868-088, Email: TBooth@sblonline.org.

Press contact:

Catherine Lane, Catherine Lane PR, Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PY. Tel: 07092 864 764. Email: catherine@catherinelane.com

About Capita:

Capita is the leading supplier of information systems to the education sector, providing a range of software and services to schools and local authorities to help raise standards and reduce administration. Capita's SIMS is the most popular management information system for schools and is used every day by more than 22,000 educational establishments in the UK.

www.sims.co.uk

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