The following text is based on a summary of the most recent interim evaluation report and follows a similar summary that was produced in 2018. To view all resources related to this project, click here.
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The Dundee and Includem Raising Attainment Project aims to extend and embed support for S1-S3 pupils identified as having, or being at risk of, behavioural or wellbeing issues, with a view to improving educational attendance, attainment and wellbeing. The project is funded by The Robertson Trust and Scottish Attainment Challenge and will run until June 2019.
About the project
Operating in all eight Dundee secondary schools, Dundee City Council is working with Includem – a charity which provides intensive, personalised support for young people and their families to deliver this enhanced support.
The Raising Attainment Project aims to effectively integrate members of the Includem team in each school’s pupil support team for S1, S2 and S3 pupils. Includem works with referred pupils and their families on a one-to-one basis, mainly outside of school hours, and provides families with access to a 24-hour helpline for any situations which may arise.
Increasing engagement with family
As highlighted in the December 2017 findings, contact with a pupil’s family is an invaluable component of the Raising Attainment Project. Includem workers have described an increasing focus on the engagement with families over the course of the past 18 months.
As well as supporting individuals to resolve issues, workers have also been running joint appointments with the young person and their parent/carer to encourage discussion and develop their relationship. It is hoped that this increase in family contacts will help to improve outcomes and embed some positive changes within the home, with workers emphasising that, without parental support, it is difficult to effect sustainable change with a young person.
Improving partnership working
As a result of the December 2017 findings and the subsequent Reflect and Learn session, the approach to delivery has been refined so that the partnership model works more effectively and the available support is better used.
There has been significant learning around the issues of effectively integrating a third sector delivery organisation into a school pupil support team. It sounds relatively straight forward in theory but in practice it has been challenging to do this effectively and has required a different approach in each of the schools as processes are not consistent across the school estate.
Despite the improvements, this year’s interim report has provided some opportunities to refine the process of delivery, including increased consistency to capture and use data to inform project delivery. Specific issues have been around the criteria for pupil referral, and also having sufficient quality data to comment on progress towards outcomes.
Case studies with young people supported by the project and their family members will form the basis of the upcoming evaluation activities which will be more outcome focused and we will share the final learning from the project in Spring 2019.
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