Some changes have been made to the DfE and it looks like young people will benefit from new DfE responsibilities.
It’s all change on the politics front and you may have noticed that we have a new PM and a new Cabinet, which is a collection of senior ministers in charge of key areas like education and defence.
What has changed for the DfE
The department for education (DFE) under the new government will take on responsibility for higher and further education, apprenticeships and skills. Aspects of education and work which previously sat in the department for business, innovation and skills and the reaction to this change has been positive.
Neil Carmichael MP, who chairs the Education sub-Committee (these are the people who challenge government and hold them to account) has said,
It’s really important for the future productivity of our economy that education and skills are joined up in an effective way and I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has taken the opportunity to reflect this in reshaping the machinery of Government.”
How young will people benefit from new DfE
In short, this change pulls together two previously separated departments, one covering children up to the age of 18 and the other picking up those over 18 and adults.
The change offers the opportunity for the now expanded DfE to develop a ’comprehensive end-to-end view of skills and education’, which acknowledges lifelong learning, something that I try to explain a little more below.
The learner journey from childhood to employment and beyond
Too often, for many children and young adults, their journey through education has been fragmented, seen in chunks – primary education, done; secondary education, done; sixth form or college, done and so on and with very little emphasis on the long yet interesting pathway towards employment as an end goal. This isn’t to say that education is only about stockpiling qualifications, it is rather a positive acknowledgement of the potentially exciting and rich learner journey which blossoms, but by no means ends with full time, satisfying employment.
From primary school to post-grad student
The change means that the same department will be overseeing childcare, primary and secondary education, further education and university education including post-grad study as well as apprenticeships and adult skills.
This should allow for a much more cohesive approach to lifelong learning and skills development, which young people would benefit from as it may result in a more smooth transition between each stage of education and into employment.
Vocational education and training
Only time will tell and we’ll have to wait and see what happens to judge whether young people benefit from new DfE responsibilities but at the moment the changes look very positive and the appointment of Justine Greening, who herself went to a state school and is known to have an interest in vocational qualifications has been welcomed by everyone it would seem.