Presentation on the draft framework for
Personal, employability, learning and
thinking skills
for all 11- to 19-year-olds
October 2005
The brief
Following the 14–19 Education and Skills White Paper
(February 2005) the Secretary of State asked QCA to design
a single framework for personal, employability, learning and
thinking skills for 11- to 19-year-olds.
This single framework, together with functional English,
functional mathematics and functional ICT, will equip young
people with the skills they need to be employable and to
achieve success in life.
Initial advice to the Secretary of State
QCA has been asked to give initial advice to the Secretary of
State in December 2005 on:
 a single framework for 11- to 19-year-olds
 the approach to embedding the framework in the
curriculum at key stage 3 and across 14–19
 the approach to assessing skills 11–19
 any potential disjuncture with the national curriculum at key
stages 1 and 2
 coherence with skills frameworks for adults.
Every Child Matters: Change for Children (Nov 2004) set out five outcomes for young people: be
healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; achieve economic well-being.
Subsequently, three government documents made reference to the development of learning and
employability skills.
The 14-19 Education and Skills White Paper – Feb 2005
‘Young people also need to develop their personal skills and a set of thinking and learning skills. These
skills and attitudes are fundamental to improving young people’s employability as well as their
learning...We believe the development of these skills is particularly important to delivering the five
outcomes...There are some basic skills, knowledge and understanding that everyone needs in order to
succeed in learning, employment and life. [These basic skills include functional English, mathematics
and ICT.]’
The Skills White Paper – March 2005
‘To help all adults gain the functional skills of literacy, language and numeracy and develop wider
employability skills…going as far as their talents and drive can take them.’
The Youth Matters Green Paper – July 2005
‘All young people should have access to personal development learning, delivered through the
curriculum, covering careers education, personal, social and health education (PSHE), citizenship, workrelated learning, financial capability, fitness and healthy living…’
Starting point for designing the single framework for
personal, employability, learning and thinking skills
The framework builds on existing frameworks of skills and personal qualities:
14-19 Reform Working Group’s recommendations on common knowledge, skills
and attributes
 The National Curriculum Handbook for Secondary Teachers in England
The six key skills and five thinking skills embedded in the national curriculum
The frameworks for careers education and work related learning
 qualifications criteria for national curriculum subjects at key stage 4
 the key skills qualifications
 QCA’s work on aims and outcomes for a future curriculum
 QCA’s international study of the teaching and learning of skills in secondary ed.
 QCA’s guidance on Personal development curriculum at KS4 and on Employability
 Developing social, emotional and behavioural skills - pilot materials
(DfES/Secondary national strategy)
 vocational and HE skills frameworks.
The single framework sets out the essential skills and personal
qualities that all 11- to 19-year-olds need to be employable and
succeed in life. The skills and personal qualities are designed
 make sense and be useful to all young people whatever their
learning environment
 meet the needs of all young people, employers and HE
 support engagement and raise achievement
 promote access to the full range of curriculum opportunities
and learning pathways
 support progression, breadth and depth in young people’s6
What personal, employability, learning and thinking
skills do all young people need to be successful?
Practical selfmanagers
young people
Active investigators
 identify questions to answer and problems to resolve
 plan and carry out research
 analyse information and judge its relevance
 synthesise information, make decisions and form their
own view
 support their conclusions, using reasoned arguments and
 present and share information effectively, acknowledging
Creative contributors
 generate ideas, keeping options open
 ask questions to extend their thinking
 connect their own and others’ ideas and experiences in
inventive ways
 challenge conventions and their own and others’
 try out alternatives or new solutions and follow ideas
 adapt their ideas as circumstances change
Reflective learners
 assess their skills and needs, and recognise their
 set clear objectives with success criteria for their
development and work
 review progress against success criteria
 invite feedback and deal positively with praise and
 evaluate learning and make changes to achieve success
Confident collaborators
 contribute openly, working with others to common
 try out different roles within a group
 progress ideas, building on or challenging others’
contributions, as appropriate
 take responsibility for their contribution to the outcome
 provide constructive support and feedback to others
 manage conflict to achieve results
Practical self-managers
 realise their goals, showing initiative, commitment and
 manage time and resources effectively
 prioritise actions, anticipating and overcoming difficulties
 deal with competing pressures, including personal and
work-related demands
 respond positively to change by taking on new
responsibilities and learning new skills
 show flexibility when priorities change
How do learners apply these skills?
Each group of skills and qualities is distinct. Young people
will need to apply the range of skills and develop the
qualities in each group in a rich variety of contexts.
Learners will use skills from several groups at the same
time. The development of specific skills and personal
qualities will be more, or less challenging for individual
learners depending on their strengths, needs and abilities.
The context for the framework
Education and training aims to develop confident individuals and
successful learners who are able to lead fulfilling lives and make a
positive contribution to society, the environment and the economy.
Skills and personal qualities
The skills framework
Active investigator Creative contributor
Reflective learner Confident collaborator
Practical self-manager
Embedded in curriculum and qualifications
Lessons/training, routines and events
Apr to Aug 2005
Research, analysis and rationalisation of current skill
frameworks, including international survey
Aug to Sep 2005
Development of the single framework
Meetings with partners
Oct to Nov 2005
Series of meetings with partners and stakeholders, including
Online survey
End Dec 2005
Initial advice to the Secretary of State
Let us know your views
Please contribute to the online survey on the draft framework
for personal, employability, learning and thinking skills for all
11- to 19-year-olds.
Closing date for submitting your views: 18 November 2005.
Website link: