Did you know that young people in England now need to remain in learning or training until they are 18?
The changes brought about by the Raising the Participation Age policy affect the educational experience of many 14-19 year olds (and young people with high needs up to age 25) and also the obligations of education and training providers.
Schools, sixth forms, colleges and training providers are responsible for attracting and retaining a new cohort of students and communicating with the local authority who monitors engagement against standards set by the Department for Education. Local authorities must make sure that suitable education and training provision is on offer and support young people to participate.
If you work in the formal education sector or more widely, you may be looking at ways to extend and adapt your offer for this age group. Arts Award can support you by encouraging young people to remain in education and training for longer, and enjoy it even more!
Further education tutors can find specific information on how Arts Award can complement study programmes and support extra-curricular activities via our webpages for the further education sector.
Arts Award can engage hard to reach learners
Do you work with young people who face challenges in their lives that have an impact on their ability to learn? Arts Award can engage, motivate, give confidence and provide a stepping stone to other qualifications or education opportunities.
Many local authorities now use a list of local and universal ‘Risk of NEET indicators’ (RONIs) to identify students who need the most support. These lists are shared with schools and other providers who make interventions to ensure learning opportunities and support meets their needs. Schools and colleges are soon to be publically measured on the destination of their pupils when they leave and how they have supported informed choice about future engagement.
So what does this mean for you? If you are a teacher or lecturer, could Arts Award help to motivate, retain and celebrate achievements of those students on your RONI list? Arts Award provides with a flexible programme of study that draws on their interests and enthusiasms, with a structure to follow and a recognised qualification to aim for.
Are you an Arts Award centre in the arts and cultural sector or Supporter with resources that you could offer students who struggle to achieve? Ask your local school or college how they support students who have been identified as needing support. Perhaps there are ways you can help them.
Arts Award can help to build Maths and English skills
All post-16 students have to work towards a Maths and/or English Level 2 qualification if they have not yet achieved this level. Arts Award can be used to embed Maths and English through fun and engaging creative activities.
Maths and English can be embedded in other learning areas, and for students who will find it challenging to achieve at these levels, providers are allowed to develop creative approaches to support these skills.
The development of communication skills is a core assessment criteria for Arts Award and at Bronze, Silver and Gold level, leadership projects incorporate real life financial and numerical challenges.
Through Arts Award students can manage events, set budgets, market products, publish reviews and raise an income from their work.
Arts Award provides real and meaningful careers guidance
Schools and colleges are required to provide all students in Years 7-11 with independent advice and guidance (IAG) to inform future career choices. As part of this, teachers may be asked to provide information and advice on 14-19 pathways. At Silver and Gold level in particular, Arts Award guides young people through the range of employment and training options in the creative industries and provides real life opportunities to meet and work with professionals, enabling purposeful links with employers.
Arts Award facilitates researching, interviewing and working alongside artists and creative practitioners. It can help to ensure that students considering a future in the creative industries get the most relevant information and are supported to research their options meaningfully, making real connections and developing relationships that can be sustained.
Arts Award Supporter provides a resource of employers and artists who can show students what it is really like to work in the creative and cultural industries. If you are a Supporter organisation, request your local authority or careers guidance agency list you on their on-line tools, databases and resources for students and parents.
Arts Award supports work experience and can help source placements
All 16 -19 year olds are expected to undertake work experience during their course of study. Supported internships in the work place have also been introduced for students with high needs up to the age of 25. Arts Award recognises work experience commitment and provides a structure for a real and simulated models.
Arts Award can provide a useful structure to build a valuable work experience programme for young people. Work experience placements fit well with the higher Arts Award levels, while Bronze is being used by some schools and centres to structure and accredit shorter placements. At the higher levels it can accredit their development as individuals as well as offering them a chance to lead their own project, which can benefit them and their placement organisation, such as organising an event or producing a festival.
If you are a Supporter organisation or an Arts Award centre, you may be able to offer valuable work experience opportunities.
Arts Award develops enterprise skills
Enterprise skills are a priority within post-16 study programmes and embedded approaches are encouraged. Bronze, Silver and Gold Arts Award can support young people to develop enterprise projects and generate an income from their work.
Do you run an enterprise programme in your school or college? Do students make things to sell or put on events to raise money? Many enterprise programmes in schools and other settings already incorporate elements of the creative arts and schools have already made the connection between Arts Award and their enterprise activity.
Through Arts Award, students gain real life project management experience and can research markets, manage budgets, gain promotion experience and start to reap financial rewards (which they can plough back into the programme).
If you are one of the growing network of Studio Schools, you may want to consider using Arts Award to accredit projects around enterprise and real life approaches to project-based learning.
Arts Award works for students with specific individual requirements
The RPA policy applies to high needs young people until they are aged 25. Professionals working with this group of students value Arts Award’s flexibility and celebration of the individual.
Arts Award is an achievable qualification and has a clear progression pathway that recognises commitment, participation and achievement. It connects to the world of employment and embeds skills for life. It develops real skills, sustains interest, keeps focus and promotes positive behaviour patterns. It doesn’t matter how long the young person takes to complete the award and they can evidence their work with the help they need.
Local authorities publish opportunities for young people with specific individual requirements online. Is your Arts Award offer listed for your area?