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Personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) provide a framework for describing the qualities and skills needed for success in learning and life. The PLTS framework has been developed and refined over a number of years in consultation with employers, parents, schools, students and the wider public.

The framework comprises six groups of skills:

  • independent enquirers

  • creative thinkers

  • reflective learners

  • team workers

  • self-managers

  • effective participants.

For each group of skills, a focus statement sums up the range of skills and qualities involved. This is accompanied by a set of outcome statements that describe the relevant skills, behaviours and personal qualities.

Each group of skills is distinctive and coherent. The groups are also interconnected and learners are likely to encounter skills from several groups in any one learning experience. For example, an independent enquirer sets goals for their research with clear success criteria (reflective learner) and organises their time and resources effectively to achieve these goals (self-manager). To develop independence, learners need to apply skills from all six groups in a wide range of contexts.

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