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Educational Policiy And Its Impact On Practices In The Learning And Skills Sector

3298 words - 14 pages



In this assignment I will outline the current context of post-compulsory education (PCET) and ESOL and identify how key policies are currently influencing practice.
I will then examine the Skills for Life policy, how it has been implemented at Harrow College, my own role in the implementation of this policy and its current and future effect on my own professional practice.


Adult post-compulsory education was originally handled by Local Education Authorities (LEAs) but in 1988, the introduction of the Education and Reform Act changed this ...view middle of the document...


In 1999, the Moser Report – A Fresh Start: Improving Literacy and Numeracy outlined potentially low literacy and numeracy levels in the country. As a result, the Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit, Skills for Life, was set up in 2001 with the aim of addressing this issue. At around the same time, The Further Education National Training Organisation (FENTO) issued standards for teaching, training and support within the FE sector. This framework had a strong focus on literacy and numeracy and thus the ESOL sector. Further specialisation was seen in December 2001, when the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum was published and later followed by accompanying teaching materials and diagnostic tools in June 2003.


Harrow's resident population was 211,600 in mid-2002 and it is a multi-cultural borough as the following shows.
‘The 2001 Census highlighted the cultural diversity of Harrow. Harrow is ranked fifth nationally, based on the proportion of (non-white) ethnic group residents. 41.2 per cent of Harrow’s residents belong to a minority ethnic group. Residents of Asian origin (excluding Chinese) account for 29.7 per cent of Harrow’s population, with the largest group being Indian (21.9 per cent), the second highest level in England & Wales, after Leicester.’ (Harrow Council website)
The Basic Skills Agency statistics ( highlight that Harrow has the lowest rate of literacy and numeracy skills for West London.
The cultural and literacy/numeracy statistics indicate the high need for ESOL provision within Harrow.
Harrow College became an FE college in 1999 and part of its the mission statement says:
‘We seek to develop new learning opportunities for the community.’ and to ‘Increase and widen participation in lifelong learning.’ (
Clearly, Harrow College’s mission statement suggests that it is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community.
Another set of statistics ( highlights another group of potential learners requiring special provision:
‘Harrow has over 4,400 lone-parent households with dependent children, lower than the national average and one of the lowest levels in London. 21 per cent of households in Harrow are married couple households with dependent children, the highest proportion in London’. (Harrow Council website)
Although the level of single parents is low, the above figures show that one in five adults wishing to enter FE may be faced with childcare issues. Harrow attempts to cater for this with crèche facilities but unfortunately, space is limited.


Below is a summary of key policies that have influenced practices in the Learning and Skills Sector.

1 – Learning Works: Widening Participation in Further Education (The Kennedy Report, 1997)

Key recommendations in this report are:

• Government should introduce new strategies to enable all to...

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