Policy context

Curriculum for Excellence

Curriculum for Excellence seeks to ensure that teachers can shape learning needs to suit individual young people, and work in collaboration with colleagues in different disciplines. Its aim is to provide a more flexible and responsive learning environment which will meet the needs of pupils as they progress though school.

Using the resources developed for Be What You Want will not only support you to tackle gender stereotyping, it will also help you to meet many of the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes. The activities are particularly relevant to the following:

Educating children and young people on the impact of gender stereotyping, and building their capacity to make informed choices, can help to facilitate individual resilience and collective social wellbeing. It will also contribute towards developing the four capacities, and therefore aligns with the core purpose of Curriculum for Excellence. If children and young people understand how gender stereotyping can influence their ideas about what jobs are open to them, and their own preferences and capacities, and how to challenge this, they will have greater capacity to consider a diverse range of subject, training and career options. The work of Be What You Want will therefore support the delivery of the DYW Career Education Standard and Work Placement Standard.

Developing the Young Workforce

Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy is centred on implementing the recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, which reinforced the need for early intervention to tackle gender stereotyping. The report calls on schools to monitor the gender balance of subject choices, as part of a broader recommendation for equalities to be embedded across the Curriculum for Excellence. It also recommends that schools develop specific measures to counter gender stereotyping. This includes supporting teachers and career advisers to undertake training on equalities through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities, which will build capacity among professionals to tackle gender stereotyping.

The recommendations which focus on gender are as follows:

Although some of these recommendations focus on the work of other agencies, the delivery of each of these is contingent on the tackling of gender stereotyping as early as possible in children and young people's education journeys. Schools are therefore at the centre of this work.

Career Education Standard

This standard recognises the journeys children and young people make as they learn about the world of work from the early years to the senior phase. It sets out what children and young people will learn and what parents/carers, teachers/ practitioners, employers and Skills Development Scotland will do to support their learning.

It is the intention that implementation of the standard will improve the quality and consistency of learning about work and careers, and improve young people’s ability to make informed decisions about future pathways. Work to tackle gender stereotyping will support the delivery of this standard by informing young people about the world of work, building their capacity to challenge assumptions about their capabilities and preferences, and helping them to be what they want to be.

Work Placements Standard

This standard recognises the rich learning that a young person can experience when they use and develop their skills in a work environment. It recognises that a work placement should help a young person to make informed career choices. The standard sets out expectations for the young person, employer, school and local authority and parent/carer before, during and after work placements.

It is the intention that implementation of the standard will significantly improve the quality of learning undertaken in the workplace. The Be What You Want campaign can help to support the delivery of this standard by building young people's capacities to understand and challenge gender stereotyping, and to consider the widest possible range of subject, training and career options.

Policy context

The blog

No Small Change required in education

This week saw the report of the Scottish Parliament Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee inquiry into the gender pay gap. The report No Small Change: The economic potential of closing the pay gap makes 45 recommendations, to Scottish Government, its agencies, and employers, that aim to tackle women’s inequality at work.

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