Transforming knowledge into practice: making the evidence count
Muriel Green shows how the work of QIA in Skills for Life is underpinned by sound research
Improving the quality of the learner's experience and increasing success rates are at the heart of the Quality Improvement Agency's (QIA) reform and development activity in Skills for Life. Learner motivation and engagement are key to these. QIA has a number of national projects and programmes that can help practitioners improve learners' motivation and success.
Findings reported in October 2007 from an external evaluation of QIA tell us that, in a sample of 1645 providers, where 441 senior managers were interviewed, 77% had been involved in QIA Skills for Life projects and programmes and reported that support activity had been most beneficial. We are keen to build on this success as we work to address the challenging targets set out in 'World Class Skills' (1).
Meeting the need
QIA's priorities for reform and development will continue to reflect national policy and provider need. The focus, shape and form of the support offered is very much informed by the wealth of information about adult literacy, language and numeracy that has been generated by NRDC's research over the last six years.
Current priorities include:
workforce development: getting more staff qualified, building the capacity of the regions to train more teachers and mentors, and continuing professional development (CPD)
using tried and tested quality improvement tools and techniques to adopt a whole organisation approach to Skills for Life
transferring evidence-based innovation to strengthen teaching and learning.
Key themes of all our work include embedding, numeracy, progression to Level 2, and employability. Our projects and programmes work across different contexts and settings including family literacy, language and numeracy, local and health authorities, and a wide range of private and public sector employers.
The QIA team and partner organisations have drawn extensively on NRDC's research findings, as well as other significant research, to inform support packages. We are keen to continue to work with NRDC to make the evidence count. The attached table provides an overview.
Muriel Green is Programme Director, Strategic Reform and Development, at the Quality Improvement Agency
(1) World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England, DIUS (2007)