02 SES 13 C, Adult Education and Inclusion
This paper focuses on 16-18-year-old disadvantaged young adults and their engagement with education through a mentoring programme. The target population of this programme is care-experienced young people in selected Scottish secondary schools. However, the programme is not exclusive and young people who may benefit from the programme can also participate. The programme recognises the importance of prevention and early intervention (EC, 2013), before these young people leave the compulsory phase of education. The aim of the case study was to identify factors that supported disadvantaged young people’s inclusion in education, hence to pursue positive destinations – employment, further education or vocational training. The study investigated how the programme supports young people to become socially and economically included in the society, i.e to become active citizens. A case study of the programme and fieldwork was conducted early December 2018. Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data. Eleven young people (three alumni) were interviewed face-to-face in three focus groups. Thirteen adults were interviewed individually and in pairs some face-to-face and some over the telephone. Adult interviewees included the programme initiator, practitioners, mentors and policy makers. All interviews lasted for between 35-70 minutes. Cross European systematic analysis will happen in the Spring 2018. Preliminary analysis suggests the key success factors are regular dedicated individual mentoring of young people (Gutherson 2013). Young people on the programme are also offered talent tasters that are a menu of bite-sized experiences which include workplace, college and university visits. They are designed by young people for young people to help them make positive choices about their future careers and effective transition to employment or further education and trainings. Young people’s interviews suggest that through one-to-one mentoring they were able to build trust and relationships (Bielby 2012), confidence and self-esteem which may have profound impact on their motivation and aspiration. Many of the interviewed young people referred to be living in a low socio-economic environment and/or in a non-supportive family and they aimed at becoming different from those who lived in their close environment. All interviewed young people felt the programme helped them find a career focus and felt confident to do well.
References: Bielby, G., Judkins, M., O’Donnell, L. and McCrone, T. (2012). Review of the Curriculum and Qualification Needs of Young People who are at Risk of Disengagement (NFER Research Programme: From Education to Employment). Slough: NFER. European Commission. 2013. Reducing Early School Leaving: Key Messages and Policy Support. Final Report of the Thematic Working Group on Early School Leaving. http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/esl-group-report_en.pdf Gutherson, P., H. Davies, and T. Daszkiewicz. 2011. Achieving Successful Outcomes through Alternative Education Provision: An International Literature Review. CfBT Education Trust. http://cfbt.hs.llnwd.net/e1/~/media/cfbtcorporate/files/research/2011/ r-achieving-successful-outcomes-through-alternative-education-provision-full-2011.pdf Saar, E., Ure, O. B. and Holford, J. (eds.) (2013) Building a European Lifelong Learning Society: National Patterns and Challenges. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.165-186.
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