Coaching programme for possible NEETS needs more work

4 November 2016

Evaluators at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Essex have evaluated a pilot trial of ThinkForward to find out if this particular method of coaching could be tested at a larger scale.

ThinkForward is a coaching programme that is designed to support secondary school pupils who have been identified as being at high risk of not being in education, employment or training (NEET) following the completion of compulsory education. Coaches are assigned to schools and work with selected pupils as they progress through Key Stage 4 (GCSEs), with the aim of supporting them to make a successful transition into adulthood.

The evaluation study found a number of issues would need to be addressed before a future randomised controlled trial is conducted. For example, more work would be required to solve data collection issues and to develop an approach that allows the intervention to be targeted at pupils at risk of becoming NEET, while conducting a rigorous randomised controlled trial. They also recommend that future trials should not use pupil-level randomisation because it is likely that the intervention has ‘spillover’ effects to other pupils.

A small-scale assessment of the impact of the programme’s impact on GCSE scores, the likelihood of continuing into post-compulsory education, and decreasing pupil absences was carried out at the same time. The pilot found no positive impact on unauthorised absences or GCSE scores amongst students that took part in the programme.

Read the full report on the EEF website.

Posted on 4 November 2016
Posted in: Evidence