Scottish government to enhance post-16 education

The Scottish National party (SNP) has launched a new post-16 continuing education strategy today, pitting itself against London’s policy.

The proposal, 16+ Learning Choices, differs from England’s approach to post-16 higher education by focusing on a skill-based policy, increasing students’ employability after finishing schooling.

“It is crucial we equip our young people with the right skills to reach their potential and so they can play their part in Scotland’s future economic success, including helping it recover from the current downturn,” Scotland’s education and lifelong learning secretary Fiona Hyslop said.

“Our new model for post-16 learning will support that by ensuring all young people of this age have a suitable offer of learning but with a particular focus on improving the skills and life opportunities of those who leave school at the earliest opportunity, often with no – or minimal – qualifications.”

The Scottish government’s plan emphasises skill based encouragement, counselling, and better accessibility to financial support to keep +16 students in school.

“To support these changes, we intend to look again at the financial support and guidance available for these young people which is currently too rigidly tied to school based learning,” Ms Hyslop said.

“We must improve the support available for young people who learn best in a community setting or with a third-sector provider.”

The proposal is a part of a larger network of measures currently being initiated by the Scottish government to increase the prospects of underprivileged and susceptible children.