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Key Skills, Curriculum 2000 & HE Why do key skills? How do key skills fit into Curriculum 2000? What are the Curriculum 2000 Key Skills? Admissions to Higher Education Key Skills in Higher Education Why do key skills? Research shows evidence of improvement in students’

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Key Skills, Curriculum 2000 & HE

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Key Skills, Curriculum 2000 & HE

  • Why do key skills?

  • How do key skills fit into

    Curriculum 2000?

  • What are the Curriculum 2000

    Key Skills?

  • Admissions to Higher Education

  • Key Skills in Higher Education


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Why do key skills?

Research shows evidence of improvement in students’

  • motivation

  • progression

  • level of achievement

  • employability


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Why do key skills?

Employers look for:

  • computer literacy

  • excellent interpersonal skills

  • team work skills

  • ability to learn and work independently

  • effective decision-makers and problem-solvers


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How do KS fit into Curriculum 2000?

  • Following Dearing Report, KS ‘decoupled’ from GNVQs: now free-standing

  • Aimed at students on academic, vocational and mixed A/AS programmes

  • KS Qualifications exist at 5 levels: first 3 are levels most likely to be used in schools/colleges


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What’s in a level?


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What are the QCA Key Skills?

Six key skills. Main three are

  • Communication

  • Application of Number

  • Information Technology

    Wider key skills are:

  • Working with others

  • Improving own learning and performance

  • Problem solving


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Where are the details?

  • Specifications and guidance documents are available at www.qca.org.uk

  • Three main awarding bodies are OCR, EdExcel and AQA: see

  • www.ocr.org.uk

  • www.edexcel.org.uk

  • www.aqa.org.uk


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Admissions to Higher Education

  • New ‘points score’ tariff system from UCAS

  • Gives a numerical value to the new qualifications, including KS Awards

  • Details available at www.ucas.co.uk/new/press/tariff.pdf


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Key Skills in HE

  • QAA requires key transferable skills to be clearly stated in programme specifications

  • Teaching, learning and assessment methods should enable skills to be developed and assessed

  • Ongoing research into key skills appropriate for HE programmes


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One Key Skills model for HE

  • Management of self

  • Management of others

  • Management of information

  • Management of task

    From Bennett, Dunne and Carre (2000:31) Skills Development in HR and Employment Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press, Buckingham


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Developing Key Skills in HE

Strategies include:

  • diagnostic assessments

  • highlighting KS in Programme Specifications

  • ‘mapping’ KS into study units

  • developing eLearning packages


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Developing Key Skills in HE

  • discipline-specific core units which emphasise key transferable skills

  • discrete, interdisciplinary KS units, sometimes using eLearning

  • reviewing assessment methods

  • using student Personal Development Planning files (QAA requirement) for self-evaluation and target-setting


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