Last year 56.3% of 15 year olds achieved the 5 good GCSEs they needed to get on in education, in training and in work. Year on year this figure is rising but it is evident that there are still a significant number not achieving at these levels.
Each authority will create programmes best suited to the needs of the participants but it is intended that the programmes will have a significant work focus of up to two days each week, with young people offered intensive advice and support. Participants would continue with the Key Stage 4 statutory curriculum with an emphasis on key skills, and the programme would include support in developing the general skills, attitudes and behaviours important to employment and progression in learning.
A variety of factors can contribute to low attainment. Some young people feel unmotivated by what's on offer in the classroom, personal problems can create a barrier to their education whilst others have learning difficulties which make it harder to engage. More often than not these barriers manifest in poor behaviour, lack of qualifications or dropping-out altogether.
The government is determined to tackle this issue, to ensure everyone is getting the skills they need and achieving their potential.
Schools minister Jim Knight said:
'We need to ensure that every young person is in learning and fulfilling their potential. The KS4 Engagement programme is another major step towards delivering on that aim and offers the potential to transform the opportunities available to teenagers.
'The major reforms of secondary education we are currently driving forward will create an education system where all young people have opportunities to learn in ways that motivate and stretch them, a system where, through their own hard work and that of their teachers and tutors, young people will get the support they need to qualify themselves for success in life.'
The Engagement programme will establish regional models of best practice in engaging young people and will support a national roll out in 2007/08 for up to 10,000 participants.
This press notice applies to England
1. The engagement programmes will be piloted in the following local
Birmingham, Bristol, Cumbria, Devon, Durham, Essex/Thurrock, Greater Manchester, Hackney, Knowsley, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester City, Medway, Newham, Norfolk, Southwark, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Warwickshire/Coventry, Wirral, Wolverhampton.
2. The programme is based on the successful Entry to Employment (E2E) programme for 16 to 18 year olds. For more information visit http:www.teachernet.gov.uk/teachingandlearning/14to19/vocationaloffer/Apprenticeships/E2E_/
3. The programmes will be tailored to the needs of individual participants and have a significant work focus of up to two days each week, with intensive advice and support. Young people will be able to continue with the Key Stage 4 statutory curriculum with an emphasis on key skills and receive support in developing the general skills, attitudes and behaviours important to employment and progression in learning.