Statement on government's education white paper for England

Published

Responding to the government’s Educational Excellence Everywhere white paper published today, ASDAN CEO Maggie Walker said: 

“We welcome the government’s plans to expand the National Citizen Service (NCS), giving every pupil in England the opportunity to take part. NCS is a personal and social development experience for 16 and 17-year-olds, consisting of outdoor activities, social mixing and volunteering designed to benefit young people and their communities. ASDAN provides a range of accreditation opportunities, enabling NCS participants to formally recognise their personal and social accomplishments, the key employability skills they have developed, and the progress they’ve made in preparing for further and higher education. NCS pilot programmes have seen more than 100 young people achieve national qualifications through ASDAN, while more than 350 young people have achieved other ASDAN accreditation for their NCS participation. We provided customised accreditation for one of the NCS pilot projects, Safe in Tees Valley, a community safety partnership. ASDAN courses that young people can undertake through their NCS participation include our Volunteering Short Course and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness.

“Elsewhere in the white paper, the government says it will establish a ‘minimum curriculum standard’ for the alternative provision system and a ‘clear expectation’ that all pupils in alternative education have access to a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’. ASDAN’s proven methodology, which has been tried and tested over the past 25 years, provides such a broad and balanced curriculum. Our wide range of flexible courses cater for the interests of learners, helping them become grounded and rounded individuals with key skills for learning, employment and life.

“The white paper also says ‘education should prepare children for adult life, giving them the skills and character traits needed to succeed academically, have a fulfilling career, and make a positive contribution to British society’. ASDAN’s courses are not only proven to help students succeed academically, they develop soft skills and foster the confidence, motivation and resilience young people need to succeed in life and benefit their communities.”