“Thank you so much for everything you do. I appreciate it so much, on a genuine note I don’t know where I’d be if you weren’t supporting me.” – Pupil involved in Pathways for All
Despite the current crisis facing the UK, work on the Pathways project is continuing and collaboration continues in the virtual sphere. We wanted to give a short insight into the workings and impact of the project by answering one simple question:
How does The Pathways For All Programme help young people in Blackpool to achieve their full potential?
A .By collaborating with other stakeholders to share knowledge, in order to provide a well researched and effective intervention.
The term NEET refers to young people between the ages of 16 – 24 who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.
Evidence suggests that a child has the best chance of thriving, socially and economically as an adult if they are prevented from being NEET for a significant period of time. We know young people living in areas where levels of poverty are high are those most likely to become NEET for an extended period of time.
And that is where the Pathways for All Programme comes in. It is a collaboration between the Blackpool Opportunity Area, Educational Diversity and Right to Succeed, working alongside local schools and colleges. It seeks to provide a considered intervention to prevent some of the most vulnerable young people in Blackpool at risk of becoming NEET from actually becoming NEET.
Pathways recognises the value in working with parents, education establishments and local statutory and community sector services supporting young people to stay in education or training, particularly at the Post-16 drop off point. Those staying in education or training until 18 are far less likely than their peers to become NEET before the age of 24.
Collaboration between multiple stakeholders through the Pathways Programme meant access to multiple diagnostic data sets, which as a whole gave clear indications of which students were likely to be“at – risk” of becoming NEET. That allowed support to be directed to those most in need, and likely to benefit
During the Discovery phase of Right to Succeed’s programme cycle we found that, for Blackpool, the key period of risk that students will become NEET are within the first 6-7 months of their transition to Post-16 Provision. If they are effectively supported to navigate this period the risk is significantly reduced. The Pathways Programme responded to this knowledge by enlisting engagement coaches to work with pupils who are “at – risk” of becoming NEET.
The engagement coaches begin by making contact with Y11 pupils in January, in order that a strong, trusting relationship can be developed before the pupils enter the transition stage to Post-16 education. Once this transition has taken place, contact between the engagement coaches and pupils will increase and become more comprehensive.
“Sitting down with a few students on my caseload and beginning work on a CV. They said they wouldn’t normally get this opportunity and it is a massive help.” – Engagement Coach
The contact sessions with young people are made up of a combination of:
- 1-to-1 sessions
- Group sessions
- Coaching sessions
- College or alternative post-16 providers visits
The Engagement Coaches will also be available on results day to support the young people as their results are released.
Early indicators are proving extremely positive, with students responding well to the engagement coaches’ support and there have already been numerous occasions for Right to Succeed and our partners to gain and implement new learning. We are excited to share our findings in the near future.
“A lot of young people that doubted themselves are doing very positive things and taking big steps forward.” – Engagement Coach