I created this diagram back in 2010, which I used during a presentation on 16+ Learning Choices and the Senior Phase of Curriculum for Excellence. The conference was held at Celtic Park Football Club in Glasgow, and more than 350 Head Teachers and senior leaders were in attendance, to hear about embedding practice into wider school improvement plans for the year ahead. The event was also used to launch the 16+ Learning Choices Policy and Practice Framework, which I wrote whilst on secondment to the Scottish Government. Within the policy document, you’ll see on page 9 a similar diagram.

 This version illustrates the relationship that different partners and organisations have with each other to support the young person as they make the transition into and through the senior phase curriculum. Note, the pyramid shows the articulation between the Broad General Education and The Senior Phase, and the young person is always at the centre of any activity.

16+ Learning Choices ensures an offer of post-16 learning for every young person who wants it and appropriate support for as long as it’s needed. This might be staying at school, going to FE or HE, taking part in a national training programme, volunteering, getting a job or engaging in community-based learning, including personalised approaches. There are three key elements – ensuring that the right learning provision is in place, that the right financial support is available to young people and that the right personal support and careers information, advice and guidance is there to help young people make decisions. Data; monitoring and tracking is essential to planning and delivering the Senior Phase curriculum.

Some young people are not ready or able to access formal learning as they reach their school leaving date. They may face multiple barriers and need support to build their confidence and social skills, or benefit from opportunities to develop team-working skills and self-esteem. For those young people, an offer of learning which meets their needs must be as mainstream an offer as participation in school or college or the national training programmes. It is also critical that the right support is available to young people as they take part in this type of learning and development – for the most vulnerable young people, intensive advice and guidance will have to be a central element of their activity – particularly when their learning activity must fit in with other issues such as healthcare. This intensive advice and guidance forms the basis of an activity agreement.

If you’ve produced any material on 16+ Learning Choices or post-school transitions for those of you who do not work in Scotland, I’d be interested in hearing from you.

Here is a link to my section on the Scottish Government’s website – you’ll find out more about my work there: Young People 16 – 24 – and another to my Community of Practice for Partnership Information. Here is a direct link to the Policy and Practice Framework for your convenience:


Posted by Lee Dunn

Academic Staff University of Glasgow and Author of Science Fiction


  1. […] Technology ← Supporting all young people into positive and sustained destinations […]

  2. […] – and the support that they can expect, when they reach the end of their statutory education. 16+ Learning Choices is Scotland’s post-16 transition planning model which ensures an appropriate offer of post-16 […]

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