RECOGNISING THE NEED FOR SUPPORT SERVICES
Students from poorer backgrounds generally perform at far lower levels than their peers and many leave school with few or no qualifications. Teachers we have met say that this is often because students are facing issues outside of school that impact their behaviour, emotional balance or ambition that require specialist assistance.
The government has recognised this issue and have put in place the Pupil-Premium scheme.
This assistance is often available (free or low-cost) through charities that offer supplementary support to help students to improve their grades, behaviour, and address many of the complex issues they face.
However, there is no directory available to schools to identify all the various support services available for students. Today, teachers need to carry out online research to find suitable programmes for students, which can be very time consuming and doesn’t allow teachers to understand the quality of services.
Organisations like NCYVS provide a list of charities but do not specify who they can help and how.
A four week proof of concept application and matching exercise will be run, that will inform the build of an online platform designed to connect schools and youth charities so that they can collaborate to provide specialist services that meet the personal development needs of lower performing students and/or those from disadvantaged backgrounds. These students are most at risk of leaving school with no job or qualifications. However, they often respond better to arts or activity-based programmes.
Evaluate students based on their academic and non-academic needs
Match students with programmes best able to help with their personal development
Track and evaluate results
Capture teacher and student feedback
There are over 1,300 charities and other organisations that offer support programmes. The automated nature of the Edukit platform can reduce the amount of time taken to find a suitable programme (or suite of programmes) from many hours to a matter of minutes.
In order to assure quality service provision, we will require two headteacher references for each programme on the platform.
The intention is to to build a skeleton prototype and run a pilot which will last four weeks, during which we will match 60-80 students. The team have already identified four schools (which include academy, PRU and mainstream schools). Five 'at risk' students per school and 20 charities, have also been identified, who would like to take part.
Once completed it will be far easier to get other schools on board, expand the project and seek investment via funding bodies and sponsors for the full online system.
Edukit has a sustainable business model as schools now receive £900 funding per disadvantaged student. After the pilot schools will be charged £30 to match/monitor each student. The larger Charities will also be charged £100 per programme included on the platform.
There have already been expressions of interest from schools stating they will pay for the service after the pilot and recommend it to others through the inbuilt rating & testimonials functionality.