A conference was held last October by the Training Development Agency (TDA) for providers who are offering the 14 - 19 "with experience" ITT model for their trainees, at the Leeds Metropolitan Hotel. The event focused on the Strand 2 "with experience" ITT model and was attended by ITT providers from across the country. Guest speakers and group discussion sessions throughout the day provided valuable information and enabled delegates to seek clarification on a wide range of issues.
The conference commenced with an introduction to the context of the 14 - 19 Diploma programme and an exploration of how the new qualification would have an impact on ITT. Alison Atkinson, Head of 14 - 19 Workforce Development at the TDA, gave a presentation to delegates outlining the Strand 2 ethos and requirements.
Further speeches from TDA colleagues gave details on expectations and procedures relating to the implementation of the Strand 2 "with experience" model. After a short break, there was a series of thoughtful and informative presentations from colleagues directly involved in delivery of the Strand 2 process. Karl Elwell of Huntington Secondary School, York, gave an entertaining presentation which focused on the role of the school in ITT and 14 - 19 provision. Joanne Courtney and Jill Powell, from Bradford College, then spoke to delegates about their work on implementation of Strand 2 in ITT, sharing their experiences and answering questions on the process. Concluding the short session, Gina Donovan from Canterbury Christ Church University, discussed ways in which the provider was engaging with 14 - 19 ITT.
The afternoon allowed time for group discussions, which explored ways in which the "with experience" model could be developed. The session raised a number of questions and a wide variety of suggestions and ideas were shared between delegates. A summary of responses to issues is included below.
"How will performance be monitored by the TDA, particularly as this could affect funding options for next year?"
The TDA and Ofsted are still in discussion over the monitoring of diploma provision, and providers will be informed once a decision has been made.
"Is it possible for providers to divide their funding between more places?"
This is unfortunately not possible, but providers are welcome to discuss their funding or allocation options with the TDA.
"Would it be possible for the TDA to provide a list of schools delivering the Diplomas in the providers' local consortia to enable them to develop closer links and work together?"
Information concerning Local Authority contacts is available upon request from the TDA. Providers are also welcome to contact their local 14 - 19 co-ordinator in order to forge links with schools delivering the 14 - 19 Diploma.
"Providers expressed the view that they would appreciate additional help in finding placements in schools."
Further to the list of Local Authority contacts, providers can also get in touch with their local Provider Link Advisor or Training School consultant, who will be happy to offer advice.
Provider Link Advisors:
Training School Consultants:
"Providers raised the issue of how to find businesses prepared to provide placements for their trainees in order to update occupational knowledge."
Providers may find that their local Education Business Partnerships are able to help. Their national body has a website http://www.nebpn.org/ which will enable providers to make contact with their local branch.