Latest news from ASDAN

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Schools with Soul report

The Schools with Soul report by RSA into Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development in schools reflects the tensions between examination outcomes and wider measures of education experienced by many of our centres. ASDAN is well placed to support key recommendations... read on

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New Cricket Short Course

Accredit up to 60 hours of cricket activities with ASDAN's latest Short Course. Now available to purchase, the Cricket Short Course provides opportunities to develop cricket knowledge and skills through Playing Cricket; Health, Fitness and Nutrition; Researching Cricket; Cricket in the Community; Coaching and Officiating; The Environment and Working in Cricket.

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Short Courses Online – coming soon

A dynamic, interactive online version of the ever-popular Short Course range will be available shortly. Ideal if you are striving for a paper-free zone, if eLearning is your thing, if you and your group would welcome the freedom to log in and add to ePortfolios wherever you are, or if you would prefer to monitor individual or group progress on screen. Same programmes, same cost.

We are currently piloting this platform with centres. If you are already running ASDAN Short Courses and would like to give a course a go with a 10-hour trial run of Short Courses Online in February, please get in touch with us: 


CoPE Level 3 approved for inclusion in the Government's new 16-19 performance measures

ASDAN's Certificate of Personal Effectiveness at Level 3 has been approved as a 16-19 Applied General qualification to be on the list of “high quality, rigorous qualifications that enable progression to a range of study and employment opportunities for inclusion in the 16-19 (Level 3) Performance Tables in 2016”. These changes apply to courses being taught from September 2014. The full list of qualifications that will count in the 16-19 Performance Tables in 2016 is available on the Department for Education website. ASDAN is one of two qualifications approved under the heading Preparation for Life and Work (see page 18 of the 16 to 19 applied general qualifications list).

DfE also states that “Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the Performance Tables if they judge this to be in the best interests of their students, provided they are approved for teaching to 16-19 year olds for the purposes of section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000”. All ASDAN Level 3 qualifications (Employability, AoPE, CVQ and Wider Key Skills) are approved.

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New online 16-19 personal development courses

Developed by Tribal in collaboration with ASDAN, Gain4Work offers a suite of online personal development courses targeted specifically at learners undertaking 16-19 study programmes. Through Tribal’s platform, users can tailor their learning and build an e-portfolio using challenges that meet their interests and needs.

We are delighted to be launching Gain4Work at the Association of Colleges Annual Conference and Exhibition (19-21 November). If you would like to find out how Gain4Work can enhance learners’ study programmes and equip them for the future, please visit the Tribal team at stand 41. Alternatively, check out the Tribal website, email or call 01904 550110

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Youth work and raising achievement

ASDAN warmly welcomes the report of the NYA Commission into the role of youth work in formal education and its long-overdue recognition of the value of non-formal approaches in improving outcomes within formal education. Such high-level support for collaboration between youth workers and forward-looking headteachers is important and endorses high-quality youth-work programmes which lead to measurable outcomes. ASDAN has worked successfully for many years with Youth Services, and other supporting agencies, to raise achievement and we look forward to continuing to do so by providing a range of measureable outcomes in the spirit of this report (see our range of Short Courses and this CAYT impact study).


In the Media

Dean O'Donoghue, ASDAN National Development Co-ordinator writes in FE News about new developments in relation to 16-19 Study Programmes.

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AoPE Level 3 Coventry Schools Pilot

ASDAN has worked with Coventry East and West Partnerships to measure the viability, co-ordination and value of the Award of Personal Effectiveness (AoPE) Post-16, through a supported pilot for schools engaging with 16-19 Study Programmes prior to their implementation. The results show how AoPE can support Post-16 programmes, catering for both academic and vocational learning. Access the full report.

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Animal Care Short Course launches

We are delighted to officially launch the 30th title in ASDAN's library of Short Courses, to coincide with World Animal Day (October 4th 2013). The Animal Care Short Course provides an activity-based curriculum that accredits young people’s involvement with and interest in animals... read on

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Enterprise Short Course enters Europe

ASDAN is providing the curriculum for an exciting new EU programme: the ENTER Project. Partners from Austria, Greece, Spain, Portugal and the UK will be using the Enterprise Short Course to encourage young unemployed EU students to develop their entrepreneurship and enterprise skills and discover employment opportunities. A pilot scheme is about to begin, in which the course will be translated into four new languages so that students can benefit most in their own home country. This is an exciting development for ASDAN and it is inspiring to see the enthusiasm of our European partners for ASDAN's learning philosophy and activity-based learning. Please see the ENTER website for further details.

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Accredit the World's Biggest Coffee Morning with ASDAN and Macmillan

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning takes place on Friday 27 September 2013 and is Macmillan Cancer Support’s biggest fundraising event. ASDAN programmes and qualifications can provide suitable activities and opportunities to accredit skills, such as communication, research, teamwork and problem solving, which young people develop through their work with the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Read more...

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Ofsted highlights vital role of Careers Education

A new report from Ofsted has concluded that the new statutory duty for schools to provide Careers Education and Guidance is not working well enough. The report, Going in the right direction? Careers guidance in schools from September 2012, raises concerns about the lack of focus on information, advice and guidance prior to Year 11. ASDAN's Careers and Experiencing Work Short Course addresses many of Ofsted's findings and recommendations. Read more...

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Level 3 students celebrate

With A Level results released this week, ASDAN students have also been celebrating a excellent set of Level 3 achievements in CoPE, AoPE, CVQ, Employability and Wider Key Skills. It has been a particularly notable year for AoPE, CVQ and Employability with almost 1,000 extra certificates awarded to successful candidates in those qualifications, compared with 2012.


Congratulations to Scottish students

ASDAN students in Scotland are celebrating this week, having received certificates for CoPE, AoPE, CVQ, Employability and PSD alongside their Standard Grade, Higher and Scottish Baccalaureate results. ASDAN qualification achievements are up 10% on last year, reflecting the hard work of candidates across Scotland.

Congratulations to all students who collected their results this week!

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PSHE education must improve, says Ofsted

The strengths and weaknesses of personal, social, health and economic education in primary and secondary schools have been highlighted in a report from Ofsted. The study found that pupils' learning needed improvement or was inadequate in 40% of schools, while failings in sex and relationships education "left children unprepared...and vulnerable". There is also a need for the assessment of pupils' learning to be strengthened. ASDAN offers a number of resources that can support and provide structure for PSHE education, such as: Sex and Relationships Education Short Course, PSHE Short Course, PSD qualifications, Personal Development Programmes. See the Preparing for Ofsted Inspection page for further information.

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ASDAN-accredited Drive to Ensure programme launches

The Drive to Ensure youth road safety programme was officially launched on 18th July at an event in Kent. Devised by Markerstudy Group and supported by Kent County Council, the project is committed to educating young people about the dangers faced by drivers, their passengers and pedestrians. It focuses on four themes – Drive Slow, Drive Sober, Drive Silent and Drive Secure, which are assessed using different interactive games and certificated through ASDAN's Customised Accreditation scheme. For further information, visit the Drive to Ensure website or access the event press release.

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Be inspired as We Day arrives in the UK

ASDAN centres have a fantastic opportunity to attend the first ever We Day in the UK, which is being held at Wembley Arena in March 2014. The event brings together young people passionate about making an impact on the world and inspiring, world-renowned speakers. 500 places at the event are being reserved for ASDAN schools; download the flyer for full details.

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Can happiness promote success?

At ASDAN, we have recently started using NPC’s Wellbeing Measure for 11–16-year-olds, an online survey tool that asks students to assess their feelings about their lives at different points in time. It allows us to see, in a statistically robust way, the impact our programmes are having on different aspects of students’ well-being. We can also compare the feedback from different groups. Read more...

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ASDAN at the AELP National Conference

ASDAN took part in the AELP National Conference, Simply Skills and Employment, on 10-11 June, focusing on 16-19 Study Programmes, Accrediting Work Experience and Traineeships. ASDAN offers a number of courses for both young people and adults that support the development of employability skills to help with progression into sustainable or supported employment. 

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Marking a year of vocational achievement

The sixth annual VQ Day took place on June 5 to recognise the achievements of the millions of people in the UK who have been awarded a vocational qualification. This year there was the opportunity for some of those learners to share their story using the Digital VQ Yearbook. ASDAN's programmes and qualifications support vocational learning; we also have a wealth of resources available on our Online Resource Bank. Why not start to explore what ASDAN has to offer with these free quizzes and activity ideas?

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New resource: Languages Short Course

Take a fresh approach to foreign language studies with the latest Short Course. Developed in partnership with the Association for Language Learning (ALL), this new resource provides a curriculum that can lead towards, enhance and support GCSEs and the EBacc.

The Languages Short Course was launched at the ALL Language World 2013 Conference in Nottingham on 22-23 March. Read more...

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ASDAN joins calls for curriculum rethink

Dozens of organisations have urged the Government to look again at its plans for sex education in the science curriculum. The concerns were raised in a letter to The Times in April. Read the full letter and see the list of signatories here.

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Government action demanded on youth services

ASDAN has joined with more than 20 other charities in appealing to the Government to rethink its strategy on youth services. Organisations including the Scout Association, the British Youth Council and NCVYS have stated that local authorities need to be given clear direction from central government to "maintain quality youth services with appropriate investment" and that education policy needs to give appropriate recognition to non-formal learning. Download a copy of the full letter to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP and the reply from Michael Gove. Young representatives of 15 of the organisations have also added their voice to the debate. Download their letter here and the reply from Michael Gove.


Schools drop valued courses after league table reforms

New research, supported by the Edge Foundation, an independent education charity, and carried out by think tank IPPR, has shown that 60 per cent of schools are either planning to cut the provision of vocational qualifications or have already done so. This is despite 85 per cent of school leaders agreeing that vocational qualifications are valuable for their students. Read more...


ASDAN resource highlighted by Maths charity

ASDAN’s ‘learning to learn’-focused Short Course in Mathematics has been highlighted by the National Numeracy charity. The organisation focuses on adults and children with low levels of numeracy, and aims to challenge prevailing attitudes; influence public policy; and research, identify and promote effective approaches to improving numeracy. ASDAN is a an Adult Literacy and Numeracy (ALAN) nationally approved Awarding Body, and offers a range of active learning challenge-based resources to support the Functional Skills, such as Function Junction.

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Available now: Employability Skills Development book

The Employability Skills Development resource has recently been added to the ASDAN suite of programmes. It contains dozens of activities that can be used to develop employability skills and prepare learners for further education, training, apprenticeships and the workplace. This resource can be used in schools, colleges, training providers and with NEET groups, from ages 14 to adult learners.

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ASDAN mapping to Young Foundation Outcomes Framework

The Young Foundation has recently compiled A Framework of Outcomes for Young People after being commissioned by the Department for Education. This document is designed to enable providers and commissioners to better articulate and demonstrate impact in improving outcomes for young people. Following requests from centres, ASDAN has subsequently mapped key programmes and qualifications to the clusters of capabilities. Download the ASDAN mapping here.

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New resource: FoodWise Short Course

Learners can develop their skills in the kitchen and build general employability skills with the FoodWise Short Course, which is available now. There are seven modules covering food industry issues, healthy eating, hygiene and cooking/food preparation skills. Read more...

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Head teachers demand good quality work experience

Good quality work experience is essential to education, according to the head teachers and business leaders of the Employment and Skills Forum (ESF). Their views are published in the ESF's latest report. 84% of those surveyed in the report, commissioned by ASDAN Education, believe work experience should be made available for all school pupils and college students. Read more...

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New resource: History Short Course

This addition to ASDAN's range of Short Courses will help young people to develop their history skills, and will be particularly relevant in preparation for the English Baccalaureate. It has been produced in collaboration with the Historical Association, who authored the curriculum, and offers a choice of history-themed activities and challenges. Read more...

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Closing the gaps in Careers Education

ASDAN has launched a new course to prepare pupils for entry to Higher Education and the workplace. The Careers and Experiencing Work programme allows 13-19 year olds to explore a range of issues and develop skills in readiness for leaving school or college, including self-development and career more

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Wider Key Skills qualifications extended

We are delighted to confirm that Ofqual/DfE has approved the extension of these qualifications at all levels. The registration date for all Wider Key Skills qualifications has been extended until at least 31st August 2014 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This also means the last date for certification has been extended until:

  • 31st August 2015 for Level 1
  • 31st August 2016 for Level 2
  • 31st August 2017 for Level 3
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AoPE awarded UCAS points

We are pleased to confirm that AoPE Level 3 has been allocated 30 UCAS tariff points. This will take effect for entry to Higher Education from 2013, although students entering sooner are advised to contact individual university departments where applicable, as universities may take notice of an impending points award.


...and yet more good news from UCAS

UCAS has confirmed that ASDAN qualifications that are allocated points in the existing tariff (i.e. CoPE, AoPE, CVQ, Wider Key Skills) will be included in the proposed Qualification Information Profile system for HE entry, which may replace the current points system in the future.

ASDAN’s significance to the national HE application and entry process, in relation to candidates' personal statement, also continues with references in the UCAS How to Apply guidance for entry in September 2012 and 2013. In their personal statement, applicants are advised in the UCAS guidance to include:

‘(details of) accreditation achieved for any activities in preparation for higher education, for example through the ASDAN Aimhigher Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE qualification)’

For more information on all of ASDAN's Level 3 Qualifications, see the Level 3 Qualifications section.

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Changes to Performance Tables from 2014

The full range of ASDAN qualifications and programmes remain approved by DfE and Ofqual for use in schools and continue to be valued for the impact they have on student achievement.

The Government has announced the list of qualifications that will count in headline measures for performance tables from 2014. The focus on subject-based courses means this list doesn't feature ASDAN qualifications. These changes will come into effect for students completing their qualifications in Summer 2014. Read more

For older stories, please see our News Archive.



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