It is essential to work in partnership with employers and other stakeholders as both can provide major benefits for the education and training available. The first important area is financial, with the addition of the apprenticeship levy, employers are more motivated than ever to make use of the training funds available and train new and existing staff. This can result in a large number of students enrolling at the teaching establishment while in employment. The second most important aspect is quality; stakeholders, such as the governors, are driven to ensure that high quality is maintained. There are several other benefits of working in partnership with employers and stakeholders, such as being able to offer students a wider experience by leveraging these employers and stakeholders to provide work placement and work experience. These same connections can also be an excellent source of guest speakers and relevant teaching resources, such as realia.
How being Accountable to Stakeholders and External Bodies Impacts on Organisation in Education and Training
Being accountable to stakeholders and external bodies results in policies being created and implemented that aim to maintain high levels of quality. Without being accountable it is likely that these policies would not be enforced and would result in a reduction of quality. Another aspect that is often overlooked is that the primary method of being accountable is frequent audits by the stakeholder or external body, as these audits occur with little warning the necessary administration that will be required for an audit is consistently maintained. In many instances this enhances quality, especially in instances such as ensuring registers are completed for funding audit purposes, but also completing the register is a legal requirement. An alternative view, which is also often true, is that this administration causes a large amount of bureaucracy and a distraction from the teaching role.
The Impact of being Accountable to Stakeholders and External Bodies on Curriculum Design, Delivery and Assessment in Own Area of Specialism
Within my area of specialism, the impact of being accountable to stakeholders and external bodies is significant, the primary external body is a local university. As this university is the awarding body for the qualification on which I teach, their audits and requirements ensure I am constantly meeting the university’s high standards. This is in the form of the university providing:
- The units to be taught
- When each unit will be taught
- The specification for each unit
- The number of hours of teaching each unit will receive
- The type of assessment for each unit
These requirements are designed to ensure consistency and fairness between students and student cohorts. These requirements within the curriculum design can be very restrictive, including many ‘soft’ units which students resent. Lecturers teaching these units always perform poorly in student surveys compared with lecturers teaching technical subjects.
Along with various requirements, the local university must approve all members of staff that teach on the Applied Computing qualification, in terms of both academic and industry experience and qualification. This is designed to ensure only highly qualified staff are teaching on the qualification; however, it can introduce a delay in recruitment, resulting in students not being taught at all. This also makes using substitute teachers challenging, as approval must be granted before they can begin.
The majority of student work is double marked to ensure the marking is accurate; this results in high pressure timescales twice a year; when student work is due in and then must be marked, verified and available for the exam board within a very short period. This is particularly frustrating when the rest of the year has very little marking to complete.