Category Archives: Senior Phase

Making Skills Work: Promoting Apprenticeships

apprenticeshipsSkills Development Scotland (SDS) is working with employers, training providers and partners to co-ordinate events and activity throughout autumn to promote apprenticeships and the benefits of work based learning.

At the events pupils will have the chance to experience exclusive demonstrations from local employers and apprentices. These sessions will provide an insight as to the benefits of apprenticeships and the career opportunities provided by work based learning.

Aimed at pupils from S2 to S4, the events will help inform pupils when making choices about their future. Click here for the full list of events. For more information or queries please contact Lauren Sweeney

New release: Work Placements Standard for Colleges

work-placements-guidance_collegesThis newly developed standard provides direction and exemplification across a range of sectors in order to build on and enhance work-based learning experiences for college students in Scotland.  Realising the new standard will support the development of learners’  employability skills and subsequently improve the career prospects of all students studying in colleges across Scotland.

The new document complements the Work Placements Standard for Schools released  in September 2015 and articulates well with its key messages, allowing practitioners in secondary schools to align work placements for diverse learner pathways in the senior phase.

You can access and download the new standard here:  work-placements-standard_colleges



DYW Interesting practice: New exemplars have now been published

int-pract-exTwo years after the publication of the DYW implementation plan we see an increasing amount of creative and dynamic work coming to the fore in this area.  We would like to share some of this with you through our ‘interesting practice exemplars’  in order to inspire thinking and discussion.  The exemplification also provides you with contacts to support collaboration as we collectively  progress on our journeys to enhance children and young peoples’ opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work.

The following 5 new exemplars have been added to the National Improvement Hub and the DYW website:

Previous exemplars that have been published:

A Further Discussion With John Swinney MSP

Small - Further DFMJoin John Swinney in another Glow TV event to discuss ways to reduce teacher workload on Tuesday 13th September at 6.15pm. You will have the opportunity to ask questions live to Mr Swinney or submit a question prior to the event.

To follow up his recent Glow Meet, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, is offering an additional opportunity to education practitioners to discuss Curriculum for Excellence, the recently published Statement and Benchmarks, and other actions to help reduce teacher workload. He will be joined by Graeme Logan, Strategic Director, who was actively involved in developing the Statement and Benchmarks, and who is currently leading the Scottish Attainment Challenge for Education Scotland.

Once again, the questions will come from Scotland’s teachers and education practitioners. If you can’t take part on Tuesday, please send a question in advance to We will do our best to answer as many questions as we can during the Glow Meet and we will publish answers to any questions that we don’t manage to address.

Sign up now to take part live in Glow TV – A Further Discussion with John Swinney MSP

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Labour market information inspires curriculum change in the Western Isles

_DSC7168Over the last years a long-term education:economic strategy has been put in place that applies Labour Market Information (LMI) to enhance ‘Personalisation and Choice’ in senior phase and drive forward curriculum change. As a result the Western Isles have achieved significantly improved SQA vocational education attainment, greater equity of provision, a local economically-relevant curriculum and increased positive, sustained destination rates for young people.

LMI-identified maritime industries are a key sector in this local authority and a wide range of work-based learning opportunities have been created for young people, now embedded within the senior phase curriculum.  As a result all CnES presenting centres run popular N5 Maritime Skills for Work courses. Such has been the industry recognition of the maritime skills, experiences and qualifications gained by young people in school, a number of pupils have secured part-time work with the Stornoway Port Authority and others employment in the aquaculture, ferry and fishing industries.

Iain Stewart (Education and Childrens’ Services) comments: “Our education/economic strategy has significantly improved the industry-relevant skills/qualifications employers are looking for and as a result enhanced the employability of young people – a win-win situation for all parties involved. Young people find local employment, develop essential skills for what world of work and employers save money and time on the training of a young workface.”

The LMI prioritisation of STEM has also driven considerable senior phase change in recent years. Pupils in Castlebay School, Isle of Barra, informed by LMI asked for SQA Engineering in senior phase. Outcomes has taken the form of very good SQA results, increased post school progression to engineering FE and HE courses and to engineering work destinations. Of the ten Sgoil Lionacleit pupils on the Engineering Skills for Work course in 2014, eight progressed to engineering destinations In 2015, Western Isles schools, with under 1% of Scotland’s pupils accounted for 28% of SQA Engineering Skills for Work N5 passes (up from 24% in 2014).

The integration of LMI with pupil ‘Personalisation & Choice’ data promotes the ‘responsive schooling system’, something highlighted by the OECD as being of importance. The resulting senior phase progression pathways in the Western Isles have tangibly engaged young people, who see the economic currency and relevance of S4/5/6. Latest figures show over 25% of CnES school leavers with SQA vocational qualifications at SCQF 5 and above (Scottish average 9%) and of the 2015 school leavers, 42% are in work (also highest in Scotland).

LMI continues to inform new developments including industry-relevant SQA vocational qualifications and CnES E-Sgoil Gaelic language opportunities.

NB.: Here some additional statistics in support of the above:

* Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy – Developing the Young Workforce KPI3 “increase the percentage of school leavers attaining vocational qualifications at SCQF level 5 and above”: (Data from Scottish Government ‘Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living, No. 6: 2016 Edition – Attainment and Leaver Destinations’ 22 June 2016)

Percentage of 2014 school leavers attaining 1+ vocational qualifications at SCQF Level 5 and above Percentage of 2015 school leavers attaining 1+ vocational qualifications at SCQF Level 5 and above
Aberdeen City 7.1% 8.7%
Aberdeenshire 4.5% 4.4%
Angus 3.7% 3.9%
Argyll & Bute 10.6% 15.7%
Clackmannanshire 4.3% 1.8%
Dumfries & Galloway 8.7% 6.7%
Dundee City 6.0% 8.9%
East Ayrshire 8.2% 9.3%
East Dunbartonshire 8.3% 11.3%
East Lothian 7.7% 10.3%
East Renfrewshire 7.8% 8.6%
Edinburgh City 8.0% 10.6%
Eilean Siar 24.8% 26.0%
Falkirk 8.9% 10.6%
Fife 3.0% 4.0%
Glasgow City 6.9% 10.2%
Highland 11.0% 10.5%
Inverclyde 0.6% 3.5%
Midlothian 7.1% 16.4%
Moray 7.7% 8.1%
North Ayrshire 5.5% 12.0%
North Lanarkshire 9.3% 9.7%
Orkney Islands 11.4% 15.4%
Perth & Kinross 11.5% 13.6%
Renfrewshire 4.1% 6.2%
Scottish Borders 2.5% 4.1%
Shetland Islands 7.1% 10.4%
South Ayrshire 4.8% 7.7%
South Lanarkshire 3.1% 3.9%
Stirling 3.9% 5.9%
West Dunbartonshire 9.0% 15.6%
West Lothian 20.4% 21.4%
Grant Aided 12.9% 8.0%
Scotland 7.3% 9.0%
(Vocational qualifications: NC, HNC, SVQ, NPA, & Skills for Work.)


** CnES 2015 leavers follow-up, 97% in sustained destinations (with 42% in work) Data from SDS SLDR

*** Skills Strategy Spotlight Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Lives, OECD 2013

****LMI priority-STEM With under 1% of the national school roll CnES schools in 2015 accounted for 28% of the SQA N5 Engineering Skills for Work passes. Data – Insight.

***** SQA vocational qualifications in Local Food Production, Maritime, Harris Tweed, Crofting, Traditional Boatbuilding. Available


A Discussion with John Swinney MSP

John SwinneyJoin us in Glow TV on Monday 29th August at 12.45pm for an opportunity to put your views and thoughts to John Swinney, Depute First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

The Depute First Minister wrote: “When I took the role of Education Secretary I was determined to speak to as many teachers as possible. I have been able to meet a good number during visits to schools in my first three months but it would take a lot longer to be able to visit every school across the country. That is why I am inviting you to take part in a Glow Meet with me and Bill Maxwell HM Chief Inspector of Education so you can ask about our plans for education in Scotland.

Teachers are the most important asset to our education system and I want to hear directly from you how we can make the system better and how the Scottish Government can support you. If you can’t take part on Monday please send a question in advance. Please send this to

I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can during the Glow session and we will publish answers to any questions that we don’t manage to address during the time.”

Sign up now to take part live in Glow TV – A Discussion with John Swinney MSP

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Holy Mass at Carfin Grotto

Small - Holy Year of MercyJoin us live in Glow TV and follow Mass for the Holy Year of Mercy broadcast from the National Shrine dedicated to Our Lady at Carfin Grotto. In 2015 the Holy Father, Pope Francis, invited the Catholic Church across the world to celebrate a Jubilee Year dedicated to the loving mercy of God. The schools of the Diocese of Motherwell will mark this Holy Year of Mercy by gathering together at the National Shrine, dedicated to Our Lady, at Carfin Grotto to celebrate Holy Mass. Around 4000 pupils, teachers and chaplains will come together with Bishop Joseph Toal for this occasion.

Join us and follow the Mass live on Friday 26th August at 11.30am. Sign up – Holy Mass at Carfin Grotto.

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Glow’s Watch Again Service

Watch Again ImageThe on demand service from Glow TV, Watch Again, has recently undergone a redesign. All the recordings are still available but finding them should now be quicker and easier.

Why not have a look at the new look blog and find the events that you may have missed or ones that are of interest to you and your class? Glow TV – Watch Again.

The live and interactive events can be found on the Glow TV schedule .

Modern Apprenticeship reviews

Modern Apprenticeship (MA) reviews have been conducted in Engineering and Hairdressing. The Hairdressing review will be published in September.    A team of reviewers from Education Scotland, SDS, colleges and independent training providers is about to conduct the review of MAs in Automotive Engineering in the autumn.

Agreement has been reached to prepare a new model which will now look at on-the-job training, delivered in the workplace, by colleges and independent training providers. Work on preparing the model is in full swing and the model will be ready for implementation in Spring 2017.

Career Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) reviews

The CIAG team has redesigned the review model to reflect initiatives that have been introduced recently. These include the roll out of the SDS enhanced service delivery of CIAG services across the country, the implementation of the Career Education Standard and the publication of the Work Placement Standard for schools and colleges.

In addition, the outcome from the CIAG review grades, for the quality element Capacity to Improve, will now form part of the evidence base for demonstrating progress in the National Improvement Framework priority:

  • to improve employability skills and sustained positive school leaver destinations for all young people.

The next set of CIAG reviews have been agreed and will commence in September in Highlands region. Following this review there will be reviews in:

  • Renfrewshire.
  • South Lanarkshire.
  • Midlothian.
  • Dundee.

Follow-up reviews, which occur 18 months after the initial full CIAG review will take place in:

  • Clackmannanshire.
  • North Lanarkshire.
  • Shetland.
  • Scottish Borders.
  • Glasgow.

The reports from the full CIAG reviews can be found on the Education Scotland website at: