Enhancing the Senior Phase
Partnership working between Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council, NESCol and the two universities in the NE is at the heart of this project designed to enhance the senior phase offer for young people. Three tests of change are being piloted and tested.
The introduction and further development of HNC opportunities for S6 pupils. The AY 2022-23 pilot was tested successfully with one school. Destinations of successful students completing the HNC Business course are being collated, and it is understood that almost all those who completed have started degree level studies. An enhanced pilot has been initiated for AY 2023-24, with six city schools participating. A key contributor to this success was working with LAs on their timetable alignment. Ongoing work is taking place for AY 2024-25 with the ambition to offer a selection of HNC/Level 7 qualifications across the region.
A winter leavers’ programme, which aims to provide, practical, appropriate progression routes to employment or higher-level study, has been developed. A short-life working group led the design and delivery of practical programmes as an alternative to S5 within school, for those winter leavers. This was developed with increased support from SDS and DYWNE. Key tasks included reviewing college data for this group of learners, designing course aims, structure, content, contextualised core skills, meta skills development, progression, referral and selection of pupils and employer engagement. Applications open in December 2023 with partnership responsibilities identified for promotion and recruitment, delivery and quality assurance, employer engagement, career advice and support and progression routes.
Critical to the success of this project has been the Strategic Working Group, established in July 2023, ensuring a joint approach to senior phase and pathway development, linked to growth areas in the region, identifying school engagement gaps and establishing regional priority projects. This group will be a legacy of the project. It has already identified other joint areas of work for the future, including collaboration between the College and Aberdeenshire Council to support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Fraserburgh/ Peterhead area. A similar approach with Aberdeen City is being progressed.