The Certificate of Personal Effectiveness demonstrably improves young people’s skills for life and the workplace. During my time as a teacher I saw first-hand how it helped the learners in my care to grow in confidence, to be re-energised and re-engaged in the process of learning and to develop the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century. It therefore came as no surprise to me to hear that CoPE had been nominated for the Qualification of the Year award, the winner of which will be announced at the Federation of Awarding Bodies Conference this week. FAB is the organisation that represents the interests of awarding bodies and is influential in policy development.
This also comes in the same week that Schools Week has reported that life skills are being squeezed out of the curriculum due to the pressure to provide only academic subjects in schools. Within the article it is suggested that skill development – ‘building confidence’, ‘encouraging teamwork’ and building ‘empathy’ – should all be taught within education.
The CoPE qualification at Levels 1 and 2 builds young people’s skills in these and other areas. CoPE is built around the skill development units of Working with Others, Improving own Learning and Performance, Problem Solving, Research, Discussion and Oral Presentation. CoPE is proven not only to develop young people’s life and work skills, but also to improve academic success. The University of the West of England completed a research study demonstrating the effect of CoPE on groups of learners’ academic success.
In June this year I wrote another blog called ‘CoPE in the classroom’ which discusses how the qualification can be incorporated into an academic curriculum, ensuring a more rounded education for young people. More importantly, it outlines an example of how skills-based learning or ‘soft skills’ develops young people’s employability skills and skills for life in the 21st century, alongside academic learning.