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Study Programmes and Traineeships






Guide to improve the quality of Study Programmes and help more young people progress

Two new resources, The Study Programmes: Modelling and Operation – e-guide and self-assessment tool (see links below) have been produced as part of the Study Programmes Operations and Modelling project supported and funded by the Education and Training Foundation. The e-guide provides clear, up-to-date information and advice, highlighting provider practice drawn from the experiences of providers who participated in a recent Modelling and Operation project. The self-assessment tool that is a companion to the guide enables providers to evaluate their organisation’s practice in the management and delivery of Study Programmes using a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating and to start planning improvements.

Careers Colleges TrustPlanning Effective Programmes of Study - webinar recording

Planning Effective Programmes of Study – a webinar hosted by the Careers Colleges Trust and delivered by staff from ULC Institute of Education

Study Programme Support

The Education and Training Foundation has commissioned three separate projects that are collaborating to explore solutions to the challenges raised by the implementation of the Study Programme – for leaders and practitioners alike. The three projects are:

  • Modelling and Operation, run by AELP (the Association of Employment and Learning Providers) supported by 157 group and UCL (University of London) Institute of Education
  • Teacher Development, run by the University of Portsmouth,
  • Work Experience Readiness, run by the Adult Learning Improvement Network.

Modelling and Operation

The Modelling and Operation project is designed to support senior managers and those involved in governance in general FE colleges, sixth form colleges and independent training providers to effectively manage the delivery of individualised Study Programmes.  Drawing on an Expert Panel of senior leaders from across the sector, the project selected and supported 12 Feasibility Studies that illustrate comprehensive, clear and up-to-date advice provided via a Study Support Guide and related checklist.

Findings were shared at an event in January 2016 alongside outcomes from the other two projects.

Please contact [email protected] for further information.

Teacher Readiness

The University of Portsmouth's School of Education and Continuing Studies are delivering this project that will investigate the challenges faced by teachers and trainers in the Further Education and Training sector in delivering study programmes. Following this study the project team will design and deliver a programme of CPD for teachers and trainers in the sector.

This project relates specifically to the Ofsted survey report “Transforming 16 to 19 education and training: the early implementation of 16 to 19 study programmes” (September 2014) and Ofsted consultation “Better inspection for all”. 

The project is intended to support teaching staff in the Further Education and Training sector with the changes necessary in their own practice as a result of the introduction of ‘study programmes’. There are various different needs that have been raised as challenges, in particular: 

  • Supporting the learner as an individual (in the context of their learning) 
  • Delivering advice and guidance in the context of the curriculum being studied 
  • Blended learning in a study programme

The University's project team is keen to engage with FE providers who either have specific training needs that they wish to be fulfilled or if they have good practice that they wish to share. Please contact the Project Leader, Stephen Corbett, directly for more information ([email protected]). 

Work Experience 

The Adult Learning Improvement Network (ALIN are delivering the ‘Work Experience Readiness’ support project. This includes in-depth research across the Further Education and Training Sector and also into the general and specific needs of employers and industry.  This research will provide a unique insight and valuable information to assist providers and employers in offering valued and meaningful work experience to learners. ALIN will deliver a series of innovative and engaging training events across the regions in Autumn 2015. The in-depth research will help to inform the training events content and will provide practical help and information on improving learners’ work readiness. In addition, the training will also be mapped to the new Ofsted Common Inspection Framework and therefore be invaluable in helping providers to present good quality supporting evidence at inspection.

ALIN are looking for good practice across the sector and are very keen to hear from if individuals or organisations who are interested in being involved in the research, attending a training event, finding out about the support resources available or attending the National Conference in March 2016 when all the research findings will be disseminated and the good practice shared. High profile employers are involved in supporting this project and in addition to being fully engaged in the research and development work ,will also be present at the Conference.  For further information and an opportunity to be actively involved in this work please contact Kerry Boffey (project leader) at ALIN on email: [email protected]

Study Programmes and Traineeships 

AELP is very grateful to the Department for Education for providing the support to develop this resource and to the members of Foundation Special Interest Group who have been involved in its development.

Mathematics in Education and Industry (MIE), with the support of AELP, has produced two new guides to support and encourage integration between the maths study and work experience elements of Study Programmes (including Traineeships):

  • Maths at Work: Integrating work experience and maths provision in 16 to 19 Study Programmes (including Traineeships) is for curriculum planners, teachers, trainers and coordinators involved in planning and delivering the maths and/or work experience elements of 16 to 19 Study Programmes. It provides practical suggestions for ways in which providers can encourage learners and employers to enhance learners’ mathematical skills during work experience placements. It also suggests how maths teaching and learning can be contextualised using examples from the workplace. The guide includes examples of best practice from independent training providers, FE colleges, sixth form colleges and schools that have already established this kind of integration.

Download a free copy below!

English and maths resources

From late 2014 to early 2015, AELP led a DfE-funded project with four FE-sector provider organisations to develop resources for delivering English GCSEs. The particular focus of the project was the process of producing and using contextualised approaches to studying English, for learners undertaking vocational courses (especially as part of a Study Programme).

The provider organisations include two independent training providers, a general FE college and an adult and community learning provider. The subject contexts chosen are: Construction and the Built Environment; Business, Administration and Entrepreneurialism; Childcare; and general life and personal interests.

To find out more, please follow this link:

A parallel project with the same four providers, on contextualised approaches to GCSE Maths, has been led by Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI). Information and resources for that can be accessed here.

The final version of the maths toolkit is now available at 

The toolkit is designed for teaching practitioners involved in planning and delivering post-16 GCSE Mathematics, including specialist maths teaching practitioners and vocational teaching practitioners who wish to embed maths in their delivery. It encourages the use of contexts in maths teaching and learning and supports practitioners in developing and using their own contextualised resources.

The toolkit has been funded by the DfE, and MEI has worked closely with AELP and several providers to develop it.

Implementing the Work Experience Element of the 16-19 Study Programme | A Good Practice Guide

ImplementingtheWorkExperienceWhether you are an employer or training provider, this guide ‘Implementing the Work Experience Element of the 16-19 Study Programme’ is designed to help you get the best out of your work experience programme. It will help deliver high quality work experience.

There has been a quiet revolution in preparing 16-19 year olds for the labour market, overhauling not only qualifications but also the ethos that sits behind them, with a much greater emphasis on providing young people with high quality work experience. But these changes have also presented challenges to providers.

This guide offers a practical overview of what training providers and employers need to consider if they want to make the most of their work experience programme. The checklist contained in the guide breaks these areas into themes so they can apply equally to employers and providers, while also enabling their programmes to be tailored to a very individualised level.

This guide runs alongside the national Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation created as a framework to support employers and training providers offer first class work experience for young people. The framework covers the chief features of a successful work experience programme – from setting up and implementation to evaluation and the organisational infrastructure required. Organisations are independently accredited by Fair Train at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, enabling employers and training providers alike to demonstrate they are offering top notch programmes, and making a valuable contribution to their local community.

As always, AELP welcomes feedback on new guide, as this will help us to establish what further support AELP can provide in the future. To access and download your complimentary e book and or screen reader copy of ‘Implementing the Work Experience Element of the 16-19 Study Programme’ please click on the respective links below.

Implementing the Work Experience Element Guide

Implementing the Work Experience Element Guide (Screen Readers2)

When Study Programmes were first introduced, AELP pulled together a list of key government publications / documentation for Traineeships and Study Programme delivery. The following include government reviews, skills strategy papers, consultations, implementation plans, frameworks for delivery, funding rules and regulatory and formula documents.

To ensure clarity, the DfE have also provided information detailing some of the key myth-busters. Please download this document below.

Although AELP will seek to ensure all documents are up to date, we would strongly advise you visit the relevant government department and agency websites to ensure you are fully up to date with latest developments and documents published.

Please download the new resources and other documents below.


Downloadable Files

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