Examples of good practices to help students in the transition from an alternative offer to destinations after 16 years

Examples of good transition support practices for 11th year work-study students (AP). Post-16 Transition Case Studies.

This guide was developed to help people benefiting from an alternative service (PA) to help their Grade 11 students transition to destinations after age 16 and avoid losing their education, job or training (NEET).

These good practice examples are provided by alternative service institutions that have supported their grade 11 students using the 2020 Alternative Services Transition Fund. *

Multi-agency working to support students

The PA The framework has ensured that each learner receives the individual and personalized support they need to successfully access education, training or employment. To do this, all relevant stakeholders have been involved from the start.

The PA The framework started with the learners themselves, offering additional independent career advice (in a format that suited them). This was provided through one-on-one meetings at PA, phone calls or online meetings. Based on the discussions of these meetings, the PA created personalized plans for each learner and shared them with the appropriate school staff and parents and guardians using the Grofar Platform.

Since it used to take time to build a good relationship with parents and guardians, it meant they felt comfortable discussing options and barriers to destinations after 16 years with staff members. All information was then recorded in a live spreadsheet designed by the career manager, meaning it could be updated by relevant staff when needed. This was also shared with the independent guidance counselor employed by the school so that they could access the most recent information as needed.

Once the PA had basic information on where learners would like to go as an option after age 16, individual plans were created and a team of staff came together to provide this support. This team included the career manager (core member of the management team), the career administrator, 3 individual tutors, an independent guidance counselor and the NEET councilor of the municipality. Responsibility for learners was shared between the career manager, the career administrator and the individual tutors.

The PA contacted the town hall NEET service and identified the local NEET officer. When they first meet, the PA shared information about learners for whom there were concerns, and the NEET agent was able to provide additional support to these families. The NEET the agent also shared information with the career manager which improved support PA was able to offer to other learners and their families. The PA also worked with the virtual school and other educational institutions in the region to ensure that all learners who were doubly enrolled receive the same level of support.

The PA works more strategically and now has a much more streamlined process to support learners. It has extended its career counseling and support offer and will include:

  • ensure that all learners in key stages 3 and 4 receive one lesson per week on employability skills and work on their Grofar profile so that they have this available to them when applying for internships after 16 years
  • develop relationships with local colleges and the most frequently used training providers and have appointed contacts in these settings
  • develop a network of alumni so that future contacts with learners and families can continue

The transition mentor helps a young person continue their education

A youngster wanted to apply for a course in college but, after some initial questions, he admitted that he was only applying for the course because he didn’t know what else to do. The youngster was looking for advice on his options and support for the next school year.

The transition mentor met the youth in person and when they first met they spoke generally about careers and the experiences they both had, the youth’s accomplishments and career opportunities. The transition mentor reassured the youngster that it was okay not to know exactly what you might want to do after grade 11. The mentor set a goal for the youngster to answer specific career questionnaires before the next meeting. The transition mentor also helped the youth complete a MAPP assessment to assess broader needs and barriers to progression.

During their second meeting, the young person is surprised that the results of the career quizzes systematically suggest a career path as a chef. The transition mentor helped the youth explore the skills and experience needed to become a chef, as that was what the youth wanted to focus on. The transition tutor supported the young person in his dealings with 2 colleges offering restoration courses, including one in support.

While the youth waited for his GCSE results, the mentor suggested gaining experience in the sector and helped the youth create a CV and apply for jobs. The young man managed to get a job in a café the summer before entering university.

The transition mentor provided in-person support on GCSE results day and continued with regular check-ins through phone calls and text messages before the youth started college. Their conversations focused on preparing for the first day of the term, traveling to college, available scholarships, equipment required for the course, and how the youngster felt.

The mentor contacted the youngster on the first day of the term to find out how it had gone. They agreed to schedule bi-monthly visits to discuss the youngster’s progress, mental health, and workload at college. During the national lockdown, these recordings became weekly.

The youngster has been supported to continue his college education and plans to continue his education and take the restoration course to the next level.

The youngster said: “I am happy to have found a course and a career that I am passionate about. The most important thing I have learned is that it is okay to have support and to have help from others. If I hadn’t met my advisor, I wouldn’t have applied for the course and probably would have dropped out of college by now. My advisor gave me the motivation I needed to go to college and find a job. ‘

Existing staff member expands role to provide transition support for 11 years

A specific staff member has been selected to act as a transition coach for the fall term to provide advice and guidance to all grade 11 graduates. The coach worked with all of the leavers to identify their destination and establish whether they had been offered full or part time internships. In addition, this was cross-checked with the training provider, employer or educational institution.

The coach spoke to all of the Grade 11 students to find out who needed more time to complete their part-time schedule, who hadn’t found a destination, and who was on track to pursue courses. studies or a full-time job. Grade 11 students entering full-time, or employed, education were offered regular one-on-one coaching and mentoring that included supportive visits to the college or training provider and regular communication with the provider. The constant interaction meant that any issues could be resolved quickly before they escalated into potential reasons for internship failure.

Grade 11 students who were not accessing education or full-time employment were offered up to 2 days per week at the PA‘s newly renovated building. Here, Grade 11 students could access a tailored curriculum focused on improving their literacy and numeracy, personal, social, health, and economic (PSHE) education, and preparation for adulthood.

The coach’s goal was to make sure that every outgoing had something in place or, if he didn’t, to help them get the right support to achieve it. This approach made a real difference for one of the 11th graders who applied to college but changed her mind. The coach helped her explore a range of more local and tailor-made options as she disliked college and felt overwhelmed. The coach helped her complete an application and attend an interview with a local training provider who then offered her a professional learning opportunity.

It kept her from becoming NEET and she thinks that without this support she would have just dropped out of college and looked for nothing else on her own.

She said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the staff, I would not be where I am today without the help and support they have provided me.”

Support a student through a tailor-made offer

With special educational needs (SEN) the learning and engagement practitioner was redeployed to design and create tailor-made packages for students who had education, health and care plans (EHCP). One of the students was from a safe children’s home outside the county, was a child in care (CLA), had a EHCP and has been involved in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). They also had a structured assessment of the risk of youth violence (SAVRY) plan.

The practitioner led a gradual process of building a positive and trusting relationship with this student on an individual basis before introducing several agencies which then formed layers of support around the student. The practitioner engaged the student in individual visits to the college and presented areas of professional interest within the community.

The practitioner organized weekly engagement activities over an extended period to ensure that the student would have confidence in the process and in the practitioner. The practitioner and the agencies involved maintained a consistent approach and were clear on activities and timing. These were communicated visually and with plenty of notice to provide preparation time.

This one-on-one support meant the practitioner could match the student’s needs with the best post-16 offer available locally. The student now lives independently and is enrolled in an apprenticeship program.

* References to particular courses, assessments, or platforms do not indicate that they are approved or recommended by the Department of Education (DfE).

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About Shirley L. Kreger

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