Quality Assurance. Accountability. So what?18-February-2020
Quality Assurance. Accountability in Post-compulsory Education and Training (PCET). So what?
We are proud to say that our learners sit at the heart of what we do. Our learner voice ensures that our learners inform their own curriculum and their own services. Listening and responding to them, ensures that learners are supported and needs are addressed. Can the same be said of learner involvement in setting the PCET quality framework? I wonder.
Data is important. Internal quality assurance systems, the regulation scrutiny that providers have in place is vital but let’s get underneath it - what’s it telling us? Is the data telling us that there are barriers? Is the data telling us that there is inequality? Is the data used to inform improvements? And if so, is this as effective as it could be?
Of course, the data tells us one story; the real impact lays with the real stories behind the stats.
The opportunities that we provide right through the education system from the very early stages of education right through to post-16 education can be life changing. In some instances it can be life-saving. We know education is powerful. We know education is transformational. And our practitioners can make or break this. Their development is crucial as should be the investment we make in them as part of their development. The responsibility for this rests on our sector shoulders.
We should recognise the positive impact that we have and also learn from any negative aspects that we’re having through our systems and through our infrastructure.
And what about us? Democratic engagement is in our organisation’s makeup; our membership demonstrates our wide stakeholder group. We hold an AGM every year – our next is to be held on Thursday 26th March 2020 at Canolfan Soar, Merthyr Tydfil – which incorporates a strategic planning day. As such our members and our wider stakeholders are informed in the planning, the vision and the direction of our college and as an organisation as a whole. When it comes to quality assurance, we have to ensure that we engage with the wider stakeholder group to determine the impact that we’re having and where we can improve. We work tirelessly to provide a transparent system of opportunity and engagement with wider stakeholder groups and our membership makes sure of that.
And so what does this tell me? Wide stake-holder involvement would help ensure that we have an infrastructure in place through PCET that recognises adult education and life-long learning as a ticket to a more prosperous Wales. Our community cohesion and it’s direct relationship with the Well-being of Future Generations Act underlines that we should invest in communities to ensure their empowerment to take ownership of their own destinies.
Kathryn Robson, Chief Executive
Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales