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'Engaging the disengaged', new NFER publication

09 January 2013

New from the National Foundation of Education Research (NFER) is Engaging the disengaged. This research project "aims to build on the recent series of reviews undertaken through the 'From Education to Employment' research programme" by examining the impact of interventions to support students aged 14–16 at risk of temporary disconnection from learning.

The research is based on six case study schools with different support programmes for Year 10 students, visited in summer 2012. Interviews were undertaken with staff involved in the programme and focus groups held with students. It is the first report in a longitudinal project which will track students through to post-compulsory destinations.

Key findings include:

• The majority of the programmes integrated two or more approaches to preventing disengagement, such as employer involvement, mentoring, alternative curricula and careers guidance. All had an element of personalised careers information, advice and guidance.
• Programmes targeted students showing characteristics associated with being at risk of temporary disconnection from learning.
• Effective elements of programmes were perceived to be enhanced relationships between learners and staff, one-to-one support, practical hands-on application, flexibility in meeting students' needs and small class sizes with high adult-to-student ratios.
• Students were showing signs of benefiting from programmes in their first year of support.

This research forms part of NFER's 'From Education to Employment' research programme, which examines approaches that could help the one million plus young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) towards meaningful and sustainable employment.

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