Insight assists secondary schools and local authorities in identifying where improvements can be made in the senior phase as well as areas of success and best practice. It supports professional dialogue about performance at whole school, curriculum area and subject level as part of the improvement process to raise attainment and improve post-school participation in employment, further and higher education. Insight went live in September 2014 but did you realise that discussions are ongoing with awards providers with a view to expanding the range of qualifications in Insight, including, most importantly, those that support vocational learning. Qualifications must be credit-rated on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, and aligned with the principles of Curriculum for Excellence.
Insight already includes attainment data on a range of qualifications related to vocational education. These include National Certificates, Higher National Qualifications, Scottish Vocational Qualifications, National Progression Awards and Skills for Work qualifications. From September 2016 there will be additional useful updates:
- some increases in the tariff points allocated to some specific work-related courses. Some courses attract ‘added value’ – i.e., where there is deemed to be value to the learner over and above the sum of the award’s constituent components – which might be units or courses. This might be either because they contain an exam unit, an identified ‘added value unit’ (e.g. National 4) or because the award provider has made a case to the Insight project board that the course delivers added value in another way.
- ‘added value’ recognition will be extended to National Certificates; National Progression Awards; and Scottish Vocational Qualifications. Skills for Work already had this recognition. Of course, it is vital that choices about courses are made in the best interests of the individual learner, and not on the basis of tariff points, but the adjustments here will support effective self-evaluation by schools of their pupil cohorts’ outcomes
- remember, Insight captures detail of awards gained by learners at establishments other than their base centre and these are included within the tariff-based benchmarking measures. From September a new ‘partnership attainment’ measure to make data on the learning achieved by young people in colleges or other training providers, as part of a senior phase vocational pathway, will be more visible and convenient for users to access.
There is more;
- the new Foundation Apprenticeships will also be awarded added-value from the first certifications in summer 2018. As Foundation Apprenticeships will vary in SCQF credit points, the Insight tariff points for any particular framework will also vary depend on its characteristics. (Again, remember that course choices must of course be made in the best interests of the individual learner.)
- a full review of the tariff principles (building on the annual health-checks) is underway, now that Curriculum for Excellence and the new National Qualifications are fully implemented. The review will consider whether any adjustments may be necessary to the tariff scale within Insight going forward, to ensure it is fulfilling its purpose as a benchmarking and self-evaluation tool. Keep your eyes open, we want to encourage as many responses as possible .
If you have any further question or wish to join the debate on Insight, please get in touch with Julie Anderson, Senior Phase Pathways & College Partnerships, DYW at the Scottish Government Learning Directorate.