Senior Phase Vocational Pathways – Early Adopter Projects Evaluation

SFC reportIn academic year 2014/15, SFC supported seven early adopter college regions to work in partnership with local authorities, schools, employers and other key partners to explore and develop senior phase vocational pathways. The document provides a final evaluation of the early adopter and highlights the following key elements:

Success criteria:

  • Strategic regional partnership working and planning.
  • A regional co-ordinator who can turn strategic commitment into reality.
  • Effective employer engagement and incorporation of work based learning into pathways.
  • Local authorities and schools with a strong orientation towards vocational pathways.



  • Achieving space in a timetable and overcoming the fear of “dropping a higher”.
  •  An approach to partnership working that is systemic and embedded and is not reliant on “good will” and relationships.
  • Scalability of the provision in terms of capacity of colleges to deliver higher volumes of this provision verses the displacement of other activity.


  • Scottish Government working with national partners should lead a national marketing campaign on vocational pathways including employers.
  • A discussion on how far we have come in securing more proactive employer engagement and how that is to be measured and assessed.
  • Promoting the value and benefits of vocational pathways as an alternative route to getting a university degree.
  • Focus groups with the 2014-15 cohorts to ascertain how young pupils made the decision to undertake a vocational pathway.


Access the report here.



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