20 20 Vision: Launch of the New Vocational Curriculum
As more and more employers look for school leavers with work experience, giving pupils the opportunity to take vocational courses in addition to their regular study seems like a bright idea. Three schools in Edinburgh – Castlebrae Community High School, Craigroyston Community High School and Wester Hailes Education Centre have received funding through the 20 20 initiative to develop vocational courses. This initiative is a three year partnership project which is funded by the Scottish Government and the Hunter Foundation. The project aims to trial a range of innovative work programmes within the schools with the aim of making improvements to the students current and future opportunities. As part of the initiative all three schools are extending the vocational curriculum they can offer to students. The launch will see the formal opening of the four new curricular areas at Castlebrae which have been developed in partnership with Telford College and supported by the school’s business partners. These areas are: automotive, supported by Ford, construction crafts, supported by Sharkeys and PARC/EDI, childcare, supported by the Castlebrae Family Centre and the East Neighbourhood Early Years Team and finally hairdressing, supported by Charlie Miller. The plan for the future is to have other schools using the resources and at present Portobello High have students using the hairdressing salon. The launch will provide an opportunity for the media be shown these vocational courses in practice and meet and photgraph some of the students involved. During the morning breakfast will be served by the Red Bistro which is operated by senior pupils at Castlebrae.
This is great news. This is a deal that I and Andrew Burns put in place with the Hunter Foundation and the then Scottish executive before the election. Its the kind of revolution in education that we need to have if we are to make real inroads into the low achieving 20% that has been difficult to reach.
I am delighted that the SNP/Libdem administration has been willing to make sure this deal was not lost. Well done to them for doing so. Mind you, they nearly did loose it when they suggested closing two of the three schools involved, but no surprises there. All it took was a U turn and they do that to Premier Division standard.