Liz Maudslay, Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges

#LoveOurColleges

Over the past year there has been increasing coverage of the rising number of pre 16 children who have been out of school during their last two years of secondary school with the publication of The Timpson Review of School Exclusion and the Education Committee’s report Forgotten Children.

Concern has rightly been expressed about the vulnerability of these young people with the chances of becoming NEET, getting into criminal activity or joining gangs a real risk.

However, less attention has been paid to those young people who at 16 choose to return to education and the part which Further Education can play in allowing them to succeed and transform their lives.

From May to July 2019 the Association of Colleges carried out a research programme which focused on four FE colleges:

  1. Bridgewater and Taunton
  2. Leeds City
  3. Walsall, and
  4. Waltham Forest

The colleges were selected both because they covered a wide geographical spread and because they had all expressed to AoC that they had experienced a large increase of students who had either not been at school for all or a part of Key Stage Four.

One college stated that a programme they had started for 25 students five years ago had now grown into a provision for over 150.

Profile of students

While varying slightly from one college to another the general profile of the students was broadly similar. They had been out of school for a variety of reasons including exclusion, removed by parents because of bullying, ‘off-rolled’ and moved into Alternative Provision or told they would be better off being ‘home educated'.

Some had been unable to attend school because of poor mental health or because of chaotic home situations.

Staff across all colleges were met with similar issues:

  • Low Self-esteem
  • Poor Literacy
  • Poor Numeracy
  • Poor Social Skills, and
  • Difficulty with self-regulation.

Colleges noted that while the individual issues which these young people presented with might not be new, the complexity of the problems they faced was increasing.

Learning programmes and support offered by colleges

It is clear from the research that a transition programme lasting up to a year is the best way to reintegrate these young people and give them the best chance of progressing to a regular vocational or academic course. Curriculums consisted of a blend of social and personal development, catch up with English and maths, vocational tasters and employability skills.

While having a strong emphasis on routine and structure there was also much time spent in building up positive relationships and trust between tutors and students.

All colleges had high levels of support services – additional support teams, safeguarding teams, counsellors, youth workers and pastoral teams, provided either by the college or by external agencies. One college found it important to run workshops on knife crime for a specific group of young people.

Successes

All colleges were rightly proud of the success that was achieved.

Inevitably a few students did drop out and attendance was not always as high as in other areas of the college but one college, measuring college attendance against students’ spasmodic attendance when at school, said that ‘it is not uncommon for a student’s attendance rate to double’.

For those students who complete the transition course the same college reported that progression is almost 100% with students moving on to higher level or vocational courses, apprenticeships or employment.

Challenges for colleges

There were however many structural challenges facing the colleges. There are no official means of identifying young people who had had disrupted school experiences and no category on the college Individualised Learner Record for noting this.

Advertisement

Alongside this staff often received no prior information about students either because they had been off the records of schools or because schools wanted them to have a ‘fresh start’ and were maybe concerned that if a college knew about certain behaviours they would be less willing to accept a young person. While it is of course important to respect student confidentiality prior information is vital particularly for students with complex needs.

Funding was a concern for all colleges. We found that very few of the students had High Needs Funding hence any support costs had to come from the over stretched college Disadvantage Fund.

There was no additional funding for the higher costs of the transition year, despite the fact that if students had attended Alternative Provision, they would have been funded at between £10,000 and £18,000 per head.

As set out in the recommendations of our report released this week (14 Oct) – the funding gap of £6,000 is not sustainable. When a young person moves into a college from alternative provision the college must be funded at the same rate to support these vulnerable young people adequately.

The situation is distressing but clear, these students need to be back in the mainstream and FE colleges can provide the right bespoke support they need. However appropriate funding and a more joined up approach from local authorities and schools is required if college are going to keep pace with demand.

Liz Maudslay, Policy Manager SEND / LLDD, the Association of Colleges (AoC)

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Kerry Boffey added a new event yesterday

Introduction to Fellowship of Inspection Nominees

Join Kerry Boffey, founder of the Fellowship of Inspection Nominees (fin) for an informal session outlining fin support available to providers in...

  • Tuesday, 14 July 2020 02:00 PM
  • On-line. Longdon Hall, Longdon on Tern

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page