In Focus Careers


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How to set up a successful school industry partnership

If you have ever tried to take a class on an excursion you know how hard it is. The maths staff complain that they need the students to do a test on that day. The front office staff complain that you haven’t finished the paper work. The students don’t bring in their money.

It doesn’t seem worth the effort.

School systems aren’t set up to support learning out of school grounds. 

As the boundaries between schools, universities and registered training organisations (RTOs) become more porous there is a need for schools to become more agile in their approach to learning.

Unis and RTOs have these 5 systems in place that support flexible learning.

1. Governance

They specify what they are aiming to achieve and who is responsible within each organisation. They also have a time and reporting stipulations and they have identified standards that support strategic goals.

2. Management

Universities and VET training providers have management systems in place to guide off campus learning. The management process includes how the project fits into strategic targets and learning outcomes.

3. Legal

There are generic equal opportunity, privacy, duty of care and occupational health and safety laws designed to protect students, workers and volunteers. Once these standards are in place they provide the framework for all excursions.

4. Financial

Universities and RTOs organise their finances so that there are staff who take responsibility for  flexible learning arrangements. This is not the task of the academic staff. Financial management will be determined by school funding models and may include costs associated with the off campus activities.

5. Technical

Universities and RTOs have IT systems that capture and share information without the need for duplication.

Want to know more?

Email me for a copy of the How to set up a school – industry partnership framework.

 

 


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It Takes a Village to Raise a Student

I am not a huge fan of Ken Robinson.

In about 2007 I was excited by his Do Schools Kill Creativity? TED Talk which echoed the “Good radical stuff” espoused by Ivan Illich in the 1970’s.

Deschooling Society

In 2018 Ken is now Sir Ken, and his message sounds like populist haranguing of teachers.

Does he think teachers don’t KNOW that they need to foster creativity in every student?

Does he think his badgering is helping them to grapple with a class full of demanding students, parents’ expectations,  a rigorous curriculum and a school registrar who loses sleep over permission forms?

Schools don’t need Sir Ken Robinson.

It takes a whole village

Schools need a framework that facilitates engagement  and collaboration between them,  industry and community.

The Connecting the Worlds of Learning and Work report identified:

If school-industry partnerships are to be a priority in all schools – then industry engagement needs to first be prioritised at the system level. Rather than adding on more requirements for schools to deliver, this would mean education systems recognising the broader outcomes that industry partnerships contribute to, such as lifting career aspirations and increasing engagement in learning. (p19)

Connecting the World of School and workThis is the sort of advice that will help schools to engage with the wider community.

There are 5 aspects to the enabling framework that schools need:

  1. A Governance Framework showing who is responsible for what and to what standard.
  2. A Management Framework that directs different aspects of the school environment.
  3. A Legal Framework that includes OH&S, child protection and industrial issues.
  4. A Financial Framework, and
  5. An ICT framework that facilitates data management and sharing.

It is in “2” the Management Framework, that we are seeing most change.

The West Australian State Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA) is  responsible for managing the academic framework for schools. It is demonstrating its awareness of the need for change and there is an increasing number of SCASA endorsed opportunities for students to undertake to meet the requirements of their WA Certificate of Education (WACE).

As the WACE becomes more flexible, its viability as a management framework for education is becoming less critical. In the past, academic results, as measured by the ATAR, have been a shortcut for universities wanting to assess students’ capacity to undertake the rigours of university study.

Mitchell REport

Now only 26% of university students gain a place via their ATAR score. Universities are giving credit for university units to students while they are still in school and providing alternative pathways into university.

Students applying for vocational education places have always had a broader spectrum of application requirements….

Want to be a veterinary nurse?? What experience have you had with animals??

Doctor

Apart from ad hoc efforts that are addressing the Management Framework I am not aware of moves to design comprehensive infrastructure that facilitates each aspect of collaboration.

The Fogarty EdFutures Foundation and Curtin’s Learning Futures Network  are enthusiastically working to introduce strategies that will change the school environment but without fundamental enabling infrastructure that addresses each of the 5 Frameworks, they will be forced to tinker at the edges.

I have significant anecdotal evidence that enthusiasm to help schools from industry and the community is being left on the table for want of enabling infrastructure.

Invitation to Collaborate

If anyone has the capacity to kick start a project to develop and pilot infrastructure that engages all available resources to help our students to succeed, I would welcome the opportunity to become involved.

 

 

 

 


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How to Cash In on the Oil and Gas Jobs Boom

If  Western Australia becomes a global hub for the oil and gas industry, WA school leavers will be set for long term job growth.

Oil and Gas paperThe front page news on the West Australian about the Jobs Bonanza is no surprise to our universities and TAFE colleges that have been gearing up to support our oil and gas industries for years.

The courses are not just for those with engineering degrees. South Metro TAFE has a Diploma on Engineering at its Munster Campus

Diploma in Engineering Oil and Gas

There will be jobs for lawyers negotiating contracts and trying to negotiate the best deal for government or companies.  Murdoch has a course in Oil and Gas Law and UWA has a Mining, Energy and Natural Gas Law Centre. There will be more and new courses launched as the industry grows.

Because these jobs require high level expertise the number of scholarships will increase.

There will also be jobs in service industries like health and education, police and local government to support industry growth.

The downside is the risk to the environment that will increase as the oil and gas industry becomes more powerful. Our need for environmental scientists and carbon sequestering technologies may also be a feature of the boom.

If you would like me to follow up on emerging opportunities in the oil and gas industries contact me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au