LAC - Neath Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot has a LAC Education Group with multi agency representation from Social Services Directorate (Children and Young Peoples Services), Education Directorate, YOT and Health. This group has prepared the ‘Strategic Plan for Raising the Education Achievement of Children in Public Care’. This plan informed the preparation of this initial RAISE spending proposal. A task and finish group comprising Education and Children’s Services officers was convened to formulate the grant application.
Proposal 2008 - 2011
Neath Port Talbot proposes to continue to employ a full time ‘Project Worker’ who will complement NPT’s wrap around provision for children looked after by facilitating appropriate packages of additional study support for children and young people looked after by Neath Port Talbot at the crucial transition stages of their school career, with a clear focus on key stage 4. The Project Worker will be based with the already established multi agency LAC Partnership team where links with health, education, area social work teams and CAMHS are already in existence. The project worker will arrange:
Intensive curriculum support - additional tuition/study support.
The purchase of curriculum resources and/or revision guides to supplement the ICT provision already made available to children looked after by NPT.
Appropriate rewards for individual effort and achievement.
This support will be provided in conjunction with staff from the Authority’s provision for education outside the school setting. With the main focus on years 10 and 11 and additional focus on years 6 and 7 s/he will also:
Meet with young people, foster carers/parents and school staff to identify the young person’s individual developmental needs, strengths and difficulties.
Design individual programmes of support tailored to meet the young person’s needs and build upon their PEP targets
Support young people either on an individual basis or in small groups to help them become independent learners. This will include e-learning support and on-line tuition.
Provide specific support to help pupils reintegrate to mainstream school from PRU or periods of exclusion.
Ensure all young people in Years 10 and 11 receive careers advice, set aspirations for their futures and promote moves to further and higher education or to work based learning.
Ensure all young people receive appropriate support in order aid successful transfer from primary to secondary school.
Provide training for foster carers and parents to enable them to better support young people with their education.
Monitor and review progress and achievement – liaise with schools within Neath Port Talbot and in other local authorities.
Work with providers of educational packages outside the school setting and independent residential care homes due to be established in NPT during the Autumn 2006.
The grant will be used to fund the project worker and teachers/learning mentors to provide additional study support. The latter will be employed on an hourly basis to meet identified need. The monies will also be used to meet the costs of travel, resources and materials, and management and supervision.
Summary of Activities and their impact on young peoples lives
Changes in attainment levels:
There has been a positive impact demonstrated in the attainment levels over the last three years that the project has been running with a show of steady improvement in the grades at GCSE and achievement. There has been an identifiable shift from the lower level grades to more pupils gaining C+ grades. The chart below shows the improvement of exam grades over the last 4 years of year 11 pupils who were looked after for more than 28 days during the academic year.
Neath Port Talbot LAC Exam results 2007 – 2010
Further initiatives taken include:
Creation of an Exam study skills guide to help young people understand how they best learn and retain information and how to then apply that knowledge in the exams, sent out to all year 10 and 11.
Literacy has been a concern for many looked after young people, we therefore have in conjunction with Basic Skills team funded 2 members of staff from each of our secondary schools to be trained in the ‘Catch Up’ literacy scheme with the proviso that looked after children would be a priority student. Welsh medium ‘Catch Up’ was also provided.
The project has offered to fund one member of staff from each of NPT secondary schools & PRUs to attend a BAAF workshop on ‘Attachment in the Classroom’.
Continuation of joint working with NPT College. This year a Study Skills Course was arranged, the programme ran over 6 weeks and was open to years 10 and 11. Visits have been arranged with the College to Swansea Metropolitan University.
Purchase of 100 places on the interactive SAM Learning programme. Identified pupils are given individual passwords to access the SAM learning programme to help them work on any subject they require. Work can be set by the Education Project Officer for individuals, and they can see when pupils have completed tasks and what scores they achieved.
Changes in behaviour and attitude:
More young people are benefiting from other activities arranged such as sports/adventure activities which are incorporating different key skills such as ‘working with others’, ‘improving own learning’ and ‘problem solving’. These activities help build self esteem and confidence and improve a young persons ability to work co-operatively with their peers and school staff and thereby have a more successful engagement in learning. Two of our young people were assisted to get places on the Equality and Human Rights Commission summer camp. The were 2 young people out of only 3 who were selected from Wales to take part in outdoor adventure activities and debates on equality and human rights.
Feedback forms are sent out to schools, carers and young people at the end of each academic year, this feedback has been positive, comments on the impact of the project have included:- ‘Our LAC pupils looked after have made tremendous progress in relation to maths in particular. The maths tuition was of imperative value and I cannot emphasise its importance enough’. Asst. Headteacher, Cwmtawe Comp. ‘Project Officer has provided an excellent service in our school. Beneficial to help pupils with school work, study skills and in helping raise their self esteem’. SENCo Dyffryn Comp. ‘Support given has had immediate benefit and will also be beneficial for the future’ Asst. Headteacher, Dwr Y Felin Comp. ‘Very beneficial to any student in 10-11 year of school’ Carer. ‘The support xxxxx has been given has helped her a great deal’ Carer. ‘Tuition has made me feel more confident and helped me a lot with maths’ Yr 7 pupil. ‘I have enjoyed it and it has really helped me in maths, it has made my exam grades get better in maths’ Yr 11 pupil. ‘very helpful going over things I had forgotten about’ Yr 11 pupil.