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NEET – Keeping students engaged

The young people taking part in these support programmes were identified by their schools at the end of Year 9 to be at risk of disengaging from education. Our survey conducted in 2013 suggested that in many respects the young people were very similar to the national average, but in comparison they were not as happy in general, not feeling positive, and nor were they as positive about their future.

By the end of KS4 the evidence suggests that both attainment and engagement in learning had improved. In summary, the key findings, in terms of the impact on young people, include:

  •   The young people’s attitudes to school improved over time, although at this exploratory stage of the research process we cannot know whether this was due to the support programmes or to a natural change over time.
  •   In three of the five schools, project leads reported that KS4 attainment was better than expected. Additionally project leads observed that some students sat exams when they otherwise might have left school entirely.
  •   Out of the 41 students followed from 2013 through to 2015, 33 were still engaged in learning in autumn 20159 despite having been identified by their school as at risk of disengaging from education at the end of Year 9.
  •   Young people (and the project leads) believed that they had gained a variety of key skills that had helped them to remain in learning and prepared them for the world of work. Most notably:
    • seeing the relevance of their school work to the world of work
    • improved attitudes to school (endorsed by longitudinal tracking data)
    • improved attendance (endorsed by longitudinal tracking data)
    • improved confidence and skills in communicating with others
    • improved teamwork.

Capture d’écran 2016-04-18 à 09.50.04

Although the support programmes were different (see section 4) there were key elements that appeared to be common to all approaches and contributed to their perceived success (see Figure 3).

Project leads found it very difficult to provide data on the cost effectiveness of their support programmes. However, four of the five schools provided their views. For example, three said that the interventions were more cost-effective than previous support programmes. Two project leads also observed that they had provided considerable voluntary time (for example in their lunchtimes and after school) to the support programme.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  NEET prevention: keeping students engaged at Key Stage 4: final case study report

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