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Ofsted research into the curriculum on level 2 study programmes.

Ofsted research into the curriculum on level 2 study programmes.

Summary of recommendations

Recommendation 1:

The Department for Education (DfE) should provide guidance to colleges on what information they should publish on their websites about student destinations, including proportions entering relevant employment. Even in the absence of guidance, colleges should do this better.

Recommendation 2:

Colleges should review their current minimum requirements for level 2 and level 3 study programmes to ensure that they are appropriate, and strike the right balance between learners being able to complete courses and learners having access to those courses in the first place.

Recommendation 3:

All colleges should engage actively with employers. This should include greater use of employers to co-design and implement aspects of the curriculum and assess learners, as outlined in the Wolf report.2



Review of vocational education: the Wolf report, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Department for Education, March 2011;

Recommendation 4:

College teachers should be fully up to date with the practices and jobs available in their industry. They should ensure that resources and the curriculum reflect current industry standards and practices.

Level 2 study programmes November 2018, No. 180033


Recommendation 5:

Work experience placements should be relevant to the learners’ programme of study. Teachers should make sure that learners reflect on the knowledge and skills they develop during these. Employers should give feedback on learners’ performance on the work placement.

Recommendation 6:

The DfE should consider our evidence that the majority of learners feel that they are making progress with English and mathematics, though only a quarter are getting a good GSCE pass when they re-sit the exam. They should evaluate the impact of the policy of requiring students to continue to study English and mathematics and take a GCSE.

Recommendation 7:

Colleges should give learners clear feedback on their progress through their study programme, to help build confidence and self-esteem. They should also emphasise to learners the personal, social and employability skills they develop during their level 2 study programme.

Recommendation 8:

The curriculum for study programmes should not be restricted by an excessive focus on qualification outcomes. Evaluation of the quality of the study programmes should take into account a broad range of measures, including destinations.

Recommendation 9:

The DfE should help students understand the value of study programmes by developing and publishing comprehensive data on the proportions of students who progress into different industries from each type of programme.

Recommendation 10:

Colleges should evaluate whether level 2 learners improve their progression into careers by progressing to a level 3 study programme. Colleges should align the level 2 study programme curricula to relevant apprenticeships where available. They should promote the apprenticeships to learners.

Read the full report.


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