‘Routes Ready’ workshops to support local areas in preparation for technical education reform

15 February 2018 Natasha Watkinson

In association with the AoC, Gatsby is facilitating a series of regional workshops to support further education providers as they prepare for the introduction of technical education routes and T levels.

The workshops disseminate early progress from the Foundation's Local Areas Programme, which is supporting providers, combined authorities and LEPs in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Sheffield City Region, and the West Midlands, with their collaborative preparation for introduction of the fifteen technical education routes in their area. 

Further education curriculum managers and teachers will be critical to the successful delivery of the new technical programmes, and combined authority and LEP skills teams are working with them to harness new and existing collaborations to meet the needs of local employers and learners. In this way, places are seeking to ensure clear post-16 progression pathways across the routes to skilled employment and/or higher education. 

In each area ‘route networks’ are bringing together curriculum leads to identify the support needs for teachers of particular routes, and plan professional development activity drawing on expertise of staff and employers. 

Five of the technical education routes – Digital, Construction, Education & childcare, Engineering & manufacturing and Health & science – have been prioritised by the local areas for their early work, and these routes will be of particular focus in the workshops. However, the approaches being developed here to support providers with their 'routes ready' preparations will be applicable across all of the fifteen routes.  

At a seminar session at the Association of Science Education annual conference in January, Gatsby's Jenifer Burden illustrated opportunities that the reforms present for building coherent planning for technical education to meet local needs. 

During discussion, the need to continue building the profile of technical skills and occupations was raised by the seminar’s audience, which included teaching and industry experts offering a range of national and international perspectives. Highlighting the routes to and value of technical careers was agreed to be critical to increasing the number of learners moving into and progressing through their technical careers.   

The ‘routes ready’ workshops are taking place between February and June 2018. Visit the event page for details of workshops in your area.