SCQF 15 years on… milestones & making a difference

by Sam Houten Feeley, Communications & Marketing Officer at the SCQF Partnership

I’m sure most people would agree that milestones are an important part of life, whether it’s a baby taking their first steps, a child’s first day at school or a big birthday with a ‘0’ at the end of the number – those moments create memories that last a lifetime… A major milestone for us was 2016 – it marked the 15 year anniversary of the creation of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Since 2001, the SCQF has been Scotland’s national framework, helping people of all ages plan their learning journey, as well as supporting and informing schools, colleges, universities, training providers, employers, national and local governments and many others.

To celebrate and acknowledge this milestone, the SCQF Partnership (SCQFP) undertook a research project in partnership with the University of Glasgow Training and Employment Research Unit (TERU), to understand how the SCQF is used and the impact it is having in Scotland.

TERU undertook a review of documentation and consultations with key partners and stakeholders to understand the significant developments in Scotland’s qualifications landscape that the SCQF and SCQFP have been involved in, collated SCQF impact measures to develop an Impact Measurement Framework and conducted an online survey of SCQF user groupings to help understand and assess the level of awareness, use and impact of the SCQF and SCQFP.

The final report has now been published (read it here) and the research suggests that the SCQF and SCQFP are both well-established features of Scotland’s education and qualifications landscape with the SCQFP proving to be instrumental in a number of key education and skills developments in the country.

However, the report also highlighted a need to continue increasing the awareness of the SCQF amongst key players in the development of the learner journeys of young people – teachers, parents and the pupils themselves. TES Scotland covered the launch of the report when it was released on Friday 21st April and spoke to representatives from the SPTC and NPFS who agreed that the statistics on awareness of the SCQF amongst school staff was disappointing, particularly as secondary teachers have such an important role to play in the learner journey and in promoting the ethos of the Curriculum for Excellence.

Aileen Ponton, CEO of the SCQFP, commented that Insight, the new statistical tool used by schools, was, however, helping teachers to use the SCQF to promote flexible pathways and consider non-traditional learner journeys as many non-mainstream qualifications and learning programmes are on the Framework, such as Youth Scotland’s Youth Achievement Awards and the Prince’s Trust Awards in Personal Development and Employability Skills.

To help schools understand and embed the SCQF into their everyday practice, we created our School Ambassador Programme in 2015, and, to date we have 13 schools, from across Scotland, on board. We are always looking for more schools to join up, so please do get in touch with us if you’re interested and want more information. We’d be delighted to welcome you into our growing Ambassador community!

With all of this in mind, we are planning a conference to take place in February 2018 where we will showcase some of Scotland’s best and most innovative practice in using the SCQF to support learners. We are hoping that some of our Ambassador schools will be able to join us at the event and help us to continue making an impact and marking positive milestones.

Visit our page on the SCQF School Ambassador Programme for more information or contact Brian Keegan on 0141 225 2926.

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