Friday, 15 March 2013

Will raising the participation age in England solve the NEET problem?

an article by Sue Maguire (University of Warwick, Coventry, UK) published in Research in Post-Compulsory Education Volume 18 Issue 1-2 (2013)


This paper considers the rationale for introducing the raising of the participation age (RPA) in learning in England from 2013 and assesses how, if fully implemented, it could contribute to improving the outcomes for young people who do not participate in any form of post-16 education, employment or training, and are currently defined as not in education, employment or training (NEET).

It considers previous experience of extending young people’s participation in learning, both in the UK and overseas, and draws on evidence from the author’s research on a recent policy initiative targeted at the NEET group.

The piloting of activity agreements explored the value of offering a financial incentive, tailored learning and intensive support as mechanisms to re-engage young people in post-16 education, employment or training.

Faced by a lack of enforcement; the necessary levels of investment in support mechanisms to engage with young people and to sustain their participation in learning; and innovative approaches to post-16 learning, the article concludes that the RPA will, in effect, be allowed to ‘wither on the vine’.

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