Delivering Vocational Education During Covid-19

At iAchieve, we have worked with nearly 700 schools since our launch in 2016, and from this vantage point, we’re able to see how different organisations react and adapt to a changing educational landscape. This has never been so prominent as with the challenges and repercussions of Covid 19.

It is well acknowledged that, even with the Herculean efforts of teachers during lockdown, there has been much missed learning causing knowledge gaps far beyond the usual ‘learning loss’ of school holidays. Since September, we have heard so many inspiring stories about how teachers are helping learners to re-engage with their education and, once again, become actively involved in the learning process. This is no easy feat when accounting for the trauma and life changing experiences that these young people have experienced.

“this year we’ve seen a huge uplift in the numbers of learners being registered on to our GCSE equivalent programmes”

One of the recurring themes we have heard this academic year (and perhaps we would hear it more, because it’s our focus), is the important role vocational qualifications will play. There have always been, and always will be learners that benefit from this style of qualification, that’s why iAchieve exists. However, this year we’ve seen a huge uplift in the numbers of learners being registered on to our GCSE equivalent programmes.

The content, structure and assessment methods of vocational qualifications lend themselves very nicely to learners that achieve their best work outside of the pressures of exams.  They are also great for those learners who enjoy applying knowledge to a real-life scenario rather than using it more theoretically.

At iAchieve, we choose the qualifications that make up our teaching and learning packages very carefully. Many of our selected courses have a Level 1/2 structure. If learners don’t achieve at level 2, they will automatically drop down to a level 1, so they still achieve a nationally recognised qualification.   This structure offers learners an extra layer of security, increasing opportunity to progress to further education or meaningful employment. With many vocational courses having a larger element of internal assessment, learners are given plenty of opportunity to succeed.

Many new factors have come into play due to the effects of Covid 19, and what we’ve learnt is that vocational subjects are set to play a big role in education this year. We know however, that vocational courses can be time-consuming and difficult to set up, and the last thing schools and teachers need at the moment is an increase in workload.

At iAchieve, we’ve been supporting the successful implementation and delivery of vocational courses in secondary schools across England for many years now. Our comprehensive, awarding-organisation endorsed programmes help schools to switch to vocational subjects smoothly, with little disruption or increase to workload. The online learning platform not only offers a framework for delivery for teachers, but it provides a personalised learning space for learners embarking on their vocational learning journey.

iAchieve can provide a less pressured environment in which learners can thrive.  We act as a gateway to meaningful and relevant qualifications, which enables learners to access the next stage of their education.   For some students, having the right vocational options, can be the key to success and progression.  

You can read here about how Cranbury College have used iAchieve during the pandemic.

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