Indicators to Identify the Disengaged

Gill Featherstone, Tami McCrone, Clare Southcott, Eleanor Stevens

07 May 2013

Related blog post by Tami McCrone

Checklist and discussion aid

This research builds on the earlier scoping study to explore ways to further improve the system of identification of young people at risk of disengagement from learning but who do not face multiple and complex barriers. It provides new evidence which will inform the development of practical tools to support practitioners to identify and understand the reasons why young people disengage.

The research involved a consultation panel set up to further knowledge about the list of indicators under development and surveys carried out with local authority and school representatives. In order to further investigate responses received through the survey, we carried out 20 telephone interviews with a sample of school and local authority respondents.


Key Findings

  • Local authority and school respondents felt that it would be useful for schools to have a checklist of factors associated with the reasons why young people disengage alongside strategies to reengage the young person. Suggestions provided by interviewees for ways in which the checklist could be further developed included the creation of a CPD tool and a discussion aid for use with young people.
  • Local authorities typically collect and analyse readily accessible, measurable data which is strongly correlated with becoming NEET at the local, and often national, level. Schools use their own records and knowledge of young people to moderate the local authority’s ‘at risk of NEET’ list.
  • Schools and local authorities more commonly focus on Key Stage 4 data to identify young people at risk, although there was evidence to suggest that some young people can be identified much earlier (in Year 7 or 8).