- Edge (educational foundation)
=Aims and Objectives=
Edge Foundation, commonly referred to as 'Edge', is a independent education foundation dedicated to promoting practical and vocational learning [edge.co.uk homepage [http://www.edge.co.uk] ] in the UK. It believes that giving young people the opportunity to learn more vocational subjects, and in more practical ways, will give them a better chance of success [Edge Believes page on edge.co.uk [http://www.edge.co.uk/docs/believes] ] and address the UK's skills shortage [bbc.co.uk article on 'looming skills shortage' [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5311480.stm] ] .
In 2003 educational services provider
Edexcelwas partially sold to Pearson PLC. The trustees of Edexcel opted to use the proceeds of the sale to set up an educational foundation: Edge was formed in November 2004 [Edexcel website history page [http://www.edexcel.org.uk/about/whatwedo/history/] ] . The trustees of the foundation identified the promotion of practical and vocational learning as the new organisation's primary objective. Since its inception Edge has invested millions of pounds in practical learning schemes and initiatives run by other organisations, as well as running its own projects [Edge Action page on edge.co.uk [http://www.edge.co.uk/docs/action/all/] ] .
Edge Projects and Campaigns
'Next step' campaign
In August 2008 Edge published the 'Next step' supplement which was distributed in the Guardian newspaper. The supplement aimed to promote a wide range of education options for young people, particularly practical and vocational routes. The 'Next step' guide is supported by a dedicated website, which invites users to download a pdf version of the guide and take part in online discussions about educational options.
On July 23rd 2008 the inaugural VQ Day took place, celebrating the success of those with vocational qualifications across the UK. Edge led the VQ Day celebrations, with support from many of the leading players in the vocational education community.
Another Way Forward campaign
In 2007 Edge launched its first mainstream advertising campaign [Edge campaign website [http://www.edgecampaign.co.uk] ] . The television ad features a father giving his son a driving lesson, and forcing him to drive the wrong way down a dual carriageway. The captions over the film read: "Are you pushing your kids in the wrong direction?", "An academic route isn't always the right option".
Edge is funding two new schools under the Government's controversial academy schools scheme [Article from Guardian online 'Brown to expand school academies scheme' [http://education.guardian.co.uk/newschools/story/0,,2037502,00.html] ] ; one in Milton Keynes [Article on Milton Keynes academy school on council website [http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/schools/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=48632] ] and one in Bulwell, Nottingham [Article on Nottingham City Council website [http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/news_page/news_about_nottingham_-_childrens_services_/academies_seek_planning_approval.htm] ] . The two schools will be housed in brand new buildings and are due to open in time for the 2009/10 school year.
Edge into Space
Edge invited young people aged 13-17 to invent a device that could be used by in space. 12 winning teams were taken to the NASA space centre in Houston, USA.
Edge asked young people to come up with a practical idea to combat climate change. 41 winners were taken to the Arctic to see climate change at first-hand and carry out experiments with leading scientists.
The Edge Awards take place annually, and reward companies for giving practical learning opportunities to young people. They also reward individual young people who have used vocational learning as a springboard to successful careers. Previous winners include diamond-setting apprentice Alasdair Craig and Suffolk-based juice bar MyJuice.
Other projects funded by Edge
horsesmouth.co.uk is a website billed as "the first dedicated website for informal e-mentoring". It brings together the expertise of volunteer online mentors, with young people who need a mentor's help. Its tagline reads: "Someone needs what you know. Someone knows what you need."
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