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Number of young people not in education, employment and training rises

25 Aug

In June 2013 it became a statutory requirement for young people to remain in education and/or training up to the age of 17.  The education/employment-training compulsory age was raised (again) in the summer of 2015 to 18.   However, the law does not make arrangements for any one particular body to police the system leave alone take sanctions against the young people to flout the law.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that there is a substantial number of 16-18-year-olds not in education, employment and training (NEETs).  The number of NEETs, in fact, rose in England from 6.8% in 2014 to 7.1% in 2015.   However, the number of 16-year-olds remaining in education rose.

In the years leading up to 2008, the year of “financial bust” the percentage of NEETs fell but from 2008 to the current year it has risen.

It is anticipated that with the economy becoming increasingly buoyant and government supporting employers who hire apprentices, the picture of young people in education and/or employment will improve over the coming years.

Meanwhile, a senior Cabinet Office source informed The Times that the government will be announcing plans to require all 18-to-21-year-olds to attend 71 hours of training classes at Job Centres in the first three weeks of claiming out-of-work benefits.   The scheme will begin in April 2017,

The training will include practising job applications and interview techniques. Those attending will undertake extensive job searches alongside dedicated coaches with whom they will continue to work throughout the first six months of unemployment.

Pupil Absence

25 Aug

Granting leave of absence to pupils has become a chestnut for many Headteachers.  Firstly, there is confusion on what they may or may not permit especially in the light of the strident direction that the former secretary of state, Michael Gove, gave about headteachers not being allowed to grant up to 10 days’ absence a year during term time for any except compelling reasons.

The headteacher can authorise absence only after taking account of the nature of the event for which leave is sought, the frequency of such requests, whether the parents give advance notice, the pupil’s attainment, and attendance record and ability to catch up on the missed schooling. Where leave of absence is granted, the Headteacher determines the number of days the pupil can be away from school.  Given that it is possible for pupils to engage in distance learning through the managed learning environment (MLE), administering the system should not cause that much grief either to families or for the schools.

However, schools also have to take account of what the Ofsted watchdog is likely to do when their inspectors visits.  Mindful of attaining an outstanding grade they are (not unnaturally) loathe having their pupil attendance statistics marred by pupils (legitimately) taking exceptional time off.

Sadly, there have been a number of horror stories recently that have been grabbing the media headlines.     Continue reading