Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Good practice in re-engaging disaffected and reluctant students in secondary schools

We know that a successful school experience is one of the most important protective factors for young people in helping them to avoid potential problems with drugs.

So I’m interested in Ofsted’s new report which looks at “sustained good practice in re-engaging disaffected students in their learning”.

They found that:

The factors which were most successful in helping these students to enjoy learning included:

  • a commitment from all staff to meeting the students’ needs
  • effective monitoring systems to identify students at risk
  • close collaboration between primary and secondary schools to prevent students’ disengagement at transition
  • the involvement of a wide variety of adults within the school and the community to support the students
  • regular and effective communication with parents and carers, including involving them closely in determining the strategies to be used to support their children
  • modifying the curriculum and drawing on educational providers beyond the school
  • close working relationships with local agencies responsible for supporting children and young people.

The key findings identified are:

  • The staff shared a commitment to helping the students succeed, which they expressed clearly to students and their families. The school ethos valued and respected the needs of individuals. The students felt part of the school.
  • Robust monitoring of academic, personal and social progress, and close collaboration with primary schools and other services for children and young people ensured that students who were likely to become disaffected were identified early. They received appropriate support before and after they entered secondary school.
  • Teaching assistants provided vital support for individuals, helping them to maintain their interest and cope successfully with any crises. This allowed teachers to focus on teaching the whole class.
  • Pastoral support was managed by assigned support staff. They acted as the first point of contact for all parents and carers and they directed them to the most appropriate member of staff if they could not deal with the issue themselves.
  • Communication with students and their families was very effective. It ensured that they were fully involved in the process and had confidence in the decisions that were made. Students knew they were listened to and felt they could contribute to decisions about their future. Home–school liaison staff played a critical role.
  • Specific support, such as temporary withdrawal from classes and training in life skills to help students change their attitudes and improve their learning, was very effective.
  • At Key Stage 4, a high-quality, flexible curriculum, involving a range of accredited training providers outside the school, was effective in engaging students more in their learning.

The Daily Telegraph covers the report here.


Filed under: Ofsted,

2 Responses

  1. […] October, 2008 in research, risk and protective factors On a similar theme to the last post the Rathbone/Nuffield Review have published their final report of the Engaging Youth […]

  2. […] also gives me the chance to remind you of this post where I took a look at an Ofsted report on “sustained good practice in re-engaging […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: