Support For Schools Pilot Activity Evaluation Report

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Abstract

The research evaluation has taken place from January - September 2015. The purpose of the research evaluation is to provide an assessment of the pilot project in view of the funding constraints that are currently being experienced by Middlesbrough Council (the evaluation had to be curtailed due to these funding restrictions). The evaluation has explored the views of selected participants associated with pilot project in order to reflect on what has been achieved as well as being able to make recommendations on how to develop the project in the future. The aim of the project is to improve the employability prospects of secondary school pupils within the Tees Valley region. Two local secondary schools have taken part in the pilot in Middlesbrough (Macmillan Academy and Outwood Academy). One of the schools (Macmillan Academy) has higher than average KS2 prior attainment scores (as noted in the proposal for the evaluation in December 2015, the Ofsted visit in May 2013 officially concluded that Macmillan Academy is a ‘good school’). In contrast, Oakfield Community College was previously deemed as being a ‘failing’ school. It was replaced by Outwood Academy in September 2013. The pilot project has attempted to discover if there has been a raised awareness of employability in both of these school contexts. The evaluation has explored the effectiveness of the pilot project. The researcher (Dr Ewan Ingleby) has adopted a qualitative inductive methodological approach in gathering the research data. As well as being part of the formal Council meetings about employability from January-June 2015, a series of loosely structured interviews were completed with key participants through July 2015. These interviews were transcribed professionally and NVivo 10 software was used to identify key themes mentioned by the research participants about the successes and weaknesses of the pilot project. The evaluation is based on delivering a ‘proof of concept’, in other words, a reflection on the feasibility of the pilot project. This reflection has been generated by attending meetings about employability with key stakeholders in Middlesbrough Council through 2014-2015, the research interviews and the subsequent identification of key themes from the research participants. All the participants have identified aspects of good practice alongside making suggestions for improving the pilot project. A key outcome of the evaluation is to offer recommendations for the potential ‘scaling up’ of the pilot project in order to help develop the employability potential of secondary school children in Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley. This occurs through the 4 presentation of four key research themes that are presented from page 10 of this report.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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