117 Educational Issues

Teaching 14-16 Year Olds on the
Increased flexibility Program
Vocational subjects

Increased Flexibility Programme

What is it?
The Increased Flexibility Programme (IFP) for 14-16 year-olds is a programme that aims to increase vocational opportunities in schools by allowing pupils to take a range of GCSEs in vocational subjects and other related qualifications. The programme is currently in place in 60 per cent of maintained secondary schools. IFP is used by more than 280 LSC-established partnerships in England. (http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/_doc) These partnerships consist of colleges, schools and other education-related organisations.

What does the IFP entail
It means that over 100,000 Year 10 and Year 11 pupils nationally are now undertaking vocational learning, spending one day a week in a college, with a training provider or with an employer. Early figures suggest that the IFP is reaping benefits in a range of ways, including improved attendance and behaviour. (governors.lsc.gov.uk/programmeareas/+flexibilityprogramme)

Most recently, research by the National Foundation for Educational Research revealed that the Increased Flexibility programme has exceeded its targets for encouraging 14-16 students to continue into Further Education. 90% of students embarking on new vocational GCSEs in subjects such as healthcare and IT skills have continued their education post-16.
          The Increased Flexibility Programme (IFP) was formed as a result of policy described in the White Paper Schools: Achieving Success, July 2001. It provides funding to support the formation of partnerships between colleges of further education, schools and work-based learning providers. These partnerships aim to enhance vocational and work-related learning opportunities for local 14–16 year olds, including provision of courses leading to General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in vocational subjects.

          The broad aims of the IFP are to:

      • raise...