Training and Employability

Young People Give More Back

New figures from the consultancy nfpSynergy show more and more young people are volunteering their time.

Over the past 13 years, participation rates have risen from 15% to 29% in August this year. 16 – 34 year-olds are now more likely to give their time than any other age group.

The benefits of volunteering are clear. Not only does it allow young people to develop new skills and experience, and network with more people, it also has a palpable effect on local and global communities.

What the figures also show is an evident commitment amongst young people to give back to their communities and to contribute to positive change in the world.

Training and Employability

Youth Summit 2017

The European Association of Cities for Second Chance Schools (E2C) is holding its Youth Summit in Sopot, Poland this month (September 2017). The Summit is being organised by Caritas Archidiecezji Gdańskiej.

E2C is an independent, non-profit organisation established to addresses employment and social problems experienced by young people throughout Europe who lacked the social skills and basic qualifications to access either higher education or employment. The young people supported by Second Chance Schools (SCS) are aged 16-24 years who did not respond well to compulsory schooling and would like another chance to gain skills and qualifications. Second opportunity is intended to ease the social exclusion of young people as the make the journey into adulthood. As they did not benefit from “typical mainstream education” and obtain adequate qualifications to succeed in the job market new methods and ways of reaching them has been created to ensure a smooth transition into adult life.

Innovated approaches are being used to prevent exclusion from the labour market. One such method is the approach to curriculum development establish co-operatively between the school and local companies, to ensure that training and qualifications offered by SCS meet the needs of the workplace and ease the path into employment.

There are some amazing activities and lectures planned for the Summit in Sopot from 17-22 September 2017. To find out more link here:

Training and Employability

Effective CPD in Second Chance Education

Effective CPD focuses on improving teaching and evaluates its impact on learning. Ultimately, there are two main principles that underpin what second chance schools, leaders and teachers need to do to ensure CPD is effective in improving teaching and learning:
1. Focus it on evidence-based teaching practice.
2. Evaluate its impact on pupil learning.

Just a few small but important points that would make teaching and learning effective for the giver and the receiver.

Training and Employability

UK Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation report

The UK Social Mobility Commission’s annual State of the Nation report published on 16 November 2016 concluded that Britain had a “deep social mobility problem which is getting worse”. The report describes an “unfair education system” as one of the “fundamental barriers” to social mobility and announced that it has a number of policies it says will tackle educational disadvantage and ensure social mobility at all stages of education. These include the creation of new grammar schools, alongside support for non-selective schools; support for character education in schools; and various programmes and policies to support widening participation in further and higher education.

It’s grammar school proposals are highly controversial even though the Government believes grammar schools can be engines of social mobility that can drive up standards in neighbouring non-selective schools. Oppositions to this argue that increased selection will further disadvantage poorer children.

Key findings included:
• In the last decade 500,000 poorer children were not school-ready by age five
• Poorer children, who stand to gain most from high-quality childcare, are least likely to receive it
• Just 5% of children eligible for free school meals gain 5 A’ grades at GCSE
• A child living in one of England’s most disadvantaged areas is 27 times more likely to go to an inadequate school than a child living in one of the least disadvantaged.
• Funding is being diverted from second chance education in further education (FE) colleges to apprenticeships, which are often of low quality, in low-skill

Training and Employability

The Characteristics of Effective Teacher CPD

Various reviews have examined a number of studies of teacher CPD in different countries. All of the reviews synthesised their selected studies to identify the characteristics of effective CPD. However, they used a range of measures by which to judge effectiveness as follows:

• Teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge
• Teachers’ self-efficacy in the teaching of their subject
• Classroom environment (teacher behaviours, student behaviours, teacher-student interactions, teaching and learning activities)
• Student attainment outcomes

The module teacher training courses currently being designed by EPODS partners includes elements of the above with easily administered access to on-line tools, material and guidance.

Training and Employability

Inclusion in a Knowledge Base Economy in Europe

Using ICT in school, for work and social interaction has become a way of life however, a significant number of young people in Europe fail in acquiring essential ICT in school and do not acquire the skills and competencies necessary for their social and labour market integration. They are thus unable to respond adequately to accelerating technological, scientific and economic change in the societies in which they live.

More than 80% of schools using computers use them in classrooms in the United Kingdom, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway and Portugal. By contrast, in Greece, Hungary and Slovakia the figure is a very low 20%. This is less than a third – in some cases even only slightly more than a quarter – of the European average usage figure (61%).
In terms of internet connections, almost all European schools have internet access. In most countries the penetration rate is slightly below or at 100%. In none country is it below 90%, and the European average is 96%. This picture changes significantly when looking at the type of internet access and thereby considering only those schools with broadband access. Here again the Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Estonia and Malta from the new member states show top rates, with figures above 90%. In stark contrast is Greece, where just 13% of schools have broadband internet access. Poland, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovakia also show low figures ranging between 28% and 40% which are significantly below the European average of 67%.
Read the full report here: