Learning Gateway for Swindon Borough Council

Learning Gateway for Swindon Borough Council

The Learning Gateway will be set up to support young people who have disengaged from their post 16 learning placement.

Swindon Borough Council
Learning Gateway
Purpose of the services
The Learning Gateway will be set up to support young people who have disengaged from their post 16 learning placement. The project will work with local colleges and other post 16 learning providers to support young people who are no longer able to continue in their chosen learning placement and to develop support packages to help them move into an alternative positive learning activity.
The project will engage with 16 and 17 year olds, It will support them directly as they leave their learning placement. A particular focus must be those learners whose learning placements begin to break down very early in year 12, potentially because the reality of their course choices does not match their expectations.
The project is intended to be a creative rapid response service to engage with a large number of young people and ensure that they are able to move into their next destination.  This will involve making maximum use of other services and learning provision.
Under the  ‘Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) legislation the local authority has a statutory duty to engage with all young people in this situation, provide targeted support for young people that have become NEET and to encourage and support them back into learning. We envisage that this project will contribute to this statutory duty.
Outline of Research Undertaken
Through the Raising Participation Age Trials the two main Colleges in Swindon have been running “retention and progression” projects that support their learners at risk of dropping out of learning. The projects have highlighted a gap in the support network available in Swindon for learners who despite support, still chose to leave their learning environment. This chart shows the numbers of students in year 12 who either did not start (DNS) a place at one of the two Colleges, or subsequently dropped out of learning, in 2011 to 2012.
•      “Retention and Progression” projects undertaken over the past two years by these two Colleges have led to a significant reduction in numbers of learners dropping out. However there are still a relatively large number of students who leave their College early in year 12. The main issue we are faced with here is that once the responsibility of the FE provider ends for that young person there is a need for someone to continue to hold the baton for all these young people with regards to learner progression outcomes.

    • Key findings from  young researchers projects showed the following
    • Most young people did not talk to anyone when making a decision to leave learning but many later regretted this decision
    • Young people are not sure what services are available to help them with their options when they consider leaving learning
    • Many young people do not know enough about work based learning opportunities or alternatives to college which they can access

The implications for these young people
Over the last year our Integrated Youth Support Services have been able to support significant numbers of NEET young people (focussing on the most vulnerable) and help them to re-engage with learning and other local support services.
We also have other targeted youth support services such as YOT and Social Workers supporting some of the most vulnerable young people. However not all young people leaving learning early have obvious vulnerabilities and meet the targeted and specific service thresholds. In Swindon there are between 200 and 300 young people who leave college before completing their courses and become NEET or not known.
Evidence shows that once young people have left the college environment they often lose touch with all professionals and services and are very hard to re-engage in learning. This project will be set up as a dedicated resource designed to work alongside colleges and providers to hold the baton for young people after the existing provider has been unable to meet their needs and the best solution is to move to a new learning environment.
How this requirement is related to other requirements
This service will have a direct impact on the trajectories set out in both the Swindon local and the national ‘Raising Participation’ Strategies. The Borough’s ‘One Swindon’ priorities also highlight routes to employment as a key focus area.

1.          Links with Swindon, New Colleges and other post 16 learning provision to include:
• Work with young people at risk of dropping out of learning who may need to change learning provider.
• Engage with them and their provider to understand their situation
2.         Work with each young person to create and broker a tailored package of learning and support which will include:
•  Promote the full range of learning and personal development options available in Swindon, especially those available for students leaving learning early in year 12.
•  Advise and support young people to visit / enrol in new opportunities
•  Liaise with a range of professionals that offer learning and support services to broker support and opportunities for the young person.
•  Work in partnership with a range of organisations to understand and guide young people towards the range of alternative environments for  young people who cannot currently access a mainstream provision, where they can engage in regular positive activities which could include:
•          volunteering
•          counselling
•          housing advice and support
•          personal development opportunities
•          work experience
•          engaging in positive activities
Embedded in all activities should be a commitment to promoting the RPA message and the positive impact of RPA on young people in Swindon.
Potential demand over the period of the Agreement
The service must be designed mainly to target year 12 students known to be disengaging from learning and who may need to move to new provision.
Potential for the range of services to expand or reduce as needs change 
Significant resources have been applied to preventative work that will ensure at risk or vulnerable year 11s coming through the Swindon education system are well supported to progress in post 16 education and then on to further work and training options. As support services and systems are implemented at the transition stage, the impact of this should have a long term effect on young people’s retention in post 16 learning and should mean fewer young people falling out of learning or choosing not to participate. In addition, new national government destination measures are being brought into effect. These will place more responsibility on schools and FE providers locally to be accountable for young people’s progression once they have left their institution.  Once these new systems are in place there will be less need for local authorities to find and reengage with these young people.
Known constraints
It is important that all services adhere to the data protection act and that services ensure young people’s rights are respected. The local definition of what constitutes as reasonable excuse for young people to not participate in learning will be a restricting factor.
The Period of the Agreement
This agreement will be in place from September 2013 – September 2014. We would expect the majority of the service activity to be required between September 2013 and December 2013.
Service Conditions and Environmental Factors
1.          Personal safety considerations
Home visits and community engagement work will occasionally be expected. However all activities will need to have robust health and safety procedures  in place to ensure staff visiting unknown residential environments are protected and not put at risk. This will include the requirement for service to have a tried and tested lone working policy.
2.          Organisational policy
Providers must adhere to health and safety and data protection regulations.
Performance Measures
Key performance indicators
80% of young people eligible, receive support from the Learning Gateway
At least 50% of the number receiving support, enter a new learning destination
At least 50% of the number receiving support are referred to other local support services
A detailed performance framework is will be negotiated on award of contract.
Quality Assurance Requirements    
All staff working on the project must hold relevant qualifications in working with young people to level 4 or equivalent
SBC will be responsible for quality assurance of the project through local contract monitoring arrangements
Feedback on the effectiveness of the project will be sought from all learners taking part and on-going progression of these learners will be measured
The Matrix Standards for Careers Guidance should be adhered to by the provider
Management of the Agreement
A proposed approach to contract management will be agreed between parties as part of the strategic and operational governance of the agreement
Contract management will include:
•      & nbsp;    Monitoring of targets and performance measures
•      & nbsp;    Quarterly Highlight Reports
•      & nbsp;    Information on young peoples individual outcomes
•      & nbsp;    Monthly Review meetings
All of the provider’s staff should have enhanced CRB clearance
Confidentiality of personal information should be adhered to following the regulations set out under the Data Protection Act.
Training / Skills Transfer
All staff members working with young people should hold or be working towards a qualification in working with young people; for example Information advice and guidance, teaching, youth work or social work to at least NVQ level 4 standard.
Required Interface with other Agencies or Services

The provider must work in close partnership with an extensive range of local support services and learning providers that have the capacity to encourage support or provide learning opportunities for young people. In liaising with other agencies on behalf of a young person the provider should ensure that informed consent is acquired and recorded from the young person before sharing any personal details with these agencies.

Ms Laura House
Email Address:
01793 463477
Wat Tyler House – 3rd Floor
Beckhampton Street
United Kingdom
Key Dates
01/05/2013 09:00
29/05/2013 16:00
Other Information
12 (months)
0 (months)
Contract Attachment(s)
Attached/Link Name Size Date Uploaded
RFQ – Gateway.doc 256kb 01/05/2013
Clarification Template.xls 27kb 01/05/2013
Conditions of Contract – Services under £30k.doc 227kb 01/05/2013
Label.doc 24kb 01/05/2013

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