Friday, 22 April 2016


The NFER has published this really interesting report outlining strategies to keep students engaged. Importantly this isn't simply about young people who are at risk of becoming NEET. These elements should lie at the heart of provision for all young people...

The report highlights the importance of engagement in education and skills from an early age. There is a compelling case to better engage young people in learning, and enable them to see the value of learning to their futures, before they are 16 years old. To do this we need to identify what works to encourage and motivate young people, including those at risk of becoming disengaged from learning, at an earlier age. The evidence in this report identifies the strategies and approaches that appear to work and argues that it is essential that we invest more to further develop these approaches so that we successfully engage young people in learning and at the same time reduce the considerable number who are currently NEET.

The factors that were common to all the support programmes and contributed to their success included:
  • mentoring and coaching; 
  • a consistent, dedicated project lead with time to engage with the young people on a long term individual basis; 
  • group support from peers; 
  • taking part in activities relevant to the world of work so that participants could see the importance of the subjects they were studying at KS4; and 
  • a flexible approach, in terms of the availability of the project lead and the control the young people had over their work.
Interestingly these are the elements that we have carefully built into the 'Better Learners, Better Workers' approach that we are developing in Sheffield and now extending to Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.

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