DYW Evaluation: Educator Engagement
Research involved interviews with 14 stakeholders, 67 staff members across 15 schools, and a survey. As the study only involves data from a small sample of DYW schools, research findings may not represent the wider education landscape.
Feedback from the 15 schools who took part shows "DYW has been embraced in schools, and this willingness stems from the positive impacts staff have seen for pupils and their belief that DYW improves pupils learning experiences while at school and enhances their future employment prospects." Of the school staff members interviewed, many suggested that thanks to DYW, learners had increased awareness of work-based and vocational learning routes, heightened preparation for their working lives, an increased likelihood to achieve 'positive destinations' after leaving school, and more overall commitment to their education.
According to interviewees, demand for Foundation Apprenticeships and other vocational and work-based learning options have significantly increased amongst S5 and S6 pupils - particularly those who are keen to start working straight from school. Work-based learning has become of more equal importance to traditional academic learning methods, and 79% of survey participants affirmed a prioritised importance of DYW and work-based learning in their educational establishments. One Deputy Head Teacher at an urban ASN school proclaimed "it is a huge focus in our school, because the vision of our school is ambition for our young people, so that life after school for them is equally as meaning as their education."
Additionally, all survey participants believed that DYW has influenced curriculum within their educational institution, and 90% of respondents agree that pupils have access to a wider variety of opportunities thanks to DYW. 73% of survey respondents believed that teachers are now placing more focus on achieving 'positive destinations' for their pupils post-school, rather than encouraging traditional views relating to high exam results being the most important achievement to benefit one's future. During an interview, one head teacher from a rural secondary school highlighted "…a sharp focus on ensuring young people are in a good place beyond school. I think that's the key thing."
Whilst evidence suggests that "the aims of the DYW programme are being met," the report outlines recommendations and learning points to ensure continuation of DYW's success and future development. The five main learning points are as follows:
Read the full report here.
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