ANGUS SCHOOL LEAVER PASSPORT

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					                                 ANGUS SCHOOL LEAVER PASSPORT

                                                EVALUATION REPORT

Introduction and background

The Angus Transitions to Post School Working Group (The Transitions
Group) devised a transition form, the School Leaver Passport, during session
2005-2006. The group comprised of representatives from Angus schools,
Educational Psychology Service, Careers Scotland, Local Training Providers,
Angus College, Social Work Department, The Health Board and voluntary
bodies (e.g. Enable).

The Passport was devised in response to concerns raised by post-school
providers regarding inconsistencies in the amount of information on school
leavers coming from Angus schools. It was agreed that the Passport should
serve a dual purpose – firstly that the information coming from schools should
be standardised, and secondly that the young people themselves should be
better prepared for the transition to post school. It was agreed therefore that
the Passport would be completed and owned by the young person and that
completion would be facilitated by Pupil Care and Support (PCS) staff, mainly
in Social Education (SE) lessons. Guidelines for PCS staff were produced to
support this process.

A single four page form was produced with space on the back page for PCS
to complete. Angus College Admissions staff were consulted to ensure that
the information they required on their transition form was incorporated, in
order to reduce duplication and workload for PCS staff. Angus College
agreed to accept the passport in lieu of their transition form for the pilot
period, session, 2005-2006.

The Pilot

Two secondary schools were approached and agreed to participate in a pilot
of the Passport, namely Brechin High School and Forfar Academy. Brechin
High School pupils were asked to hand write the Passport and Forfar
Academy pupils were asked to complete it electronically. Alan Wilson from
the ICT Department at Angus Council set this up in Forfar Academy and
produced guidelines for electronic completion.

All S4 pupils at both schools were afforded the opportunity to complete the
Passport in spring 2006 through SE classes, and PCS staff were briefed in
advance by the chair person of the Transition Group.

The Evaluation Process

A sub-group of the original Transition Group was formed to evaluate the pilot
of the Passport. This subgroup comprised of representatives from a school,
Careers Scotland, Educational Psychology Service, Angus College, ENABLE
and a training provider. Evaluation surveys were devised for PCS staff, S5


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returnees, school leavers and post school providers. PCS staff were
surveyed through their regular school meetings, S5 returnees were surveyed
both in focus groups and individually (representing 20% of the original S4
groups) and school leavers were surveyed through post school providers (e.g.
at Careers Scotland sub-offices, by telephone (Angus College pre-entry
students) and in training provider offices). A letter was sent out to all the local
training providers requesting feedback on the impact of the Passport and
informal feedback was sought from members of the Transitions Group.
Feedback was also sought from Angus College Admissions Office on the
process of receiving the Passport in lieu of their transition form.

Results

PSC Staff

PCS staff were, in the main, positive about the procedures and processes
surrounding the Passport. The hand-written Passport was easier for PCS staff
to administer than the electronic version. There were some issues around the
layout of the electronic version and other issues around booking times for
computer suites. Most PCS staff had also either forgotten to send the
Passport in lieu of the Angus College Transition form or had already sent the
transition forms earlier in the session. Finding time to fit in Passport
completion in an already stretched SE curriculum had also posed difficulties.
Returning completed Passports to pupils before they leave school was
highlighted as an issue and it was suggested that a reminder on the school
leaver form may help.

S5 Returnees

The majority of returnees felt that the Passport would be beneficial when they
left school. Some were using it to help complete application forms for
summer jobs as they felt most of the information was already there. Some
questions were seen as confusing by a small minority and changes will be
taken on board as a result of this. Most pupils were happy to complete all the
questions although some felt that PCS staff did not give enough guidance on
completion, confidentiality issues etc. The majority of pupils from both
schools felt that they would prefer the electronic version because it is neater
and easier to edit and save. Most pupils found the process useful as a way to
reflect on strengths and areas for development.

School Leavers

Post school providers reported difficulties in receiving the Passport from
school leavers. A few school leavers brought their Passports to providers and
some were able to retrieve them when prompted. Most school leavers
remember completing the Passport but felt that the importance of the
document had not been highlighted well enough in schools. Of those who
remember completing the Passport, feedback was positive. School leavers
had generally found the Passport user friendly and felt it would be worthwhile
in the future.


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Post School Providers

Evaluation of the Passport with post school providers has been limited due to
the lack of Passports being brought to them. Informal feedback at the
Transition group is positive and the general feeling is that the Passport will be
a worthwhile document to receive once it is embedded in the system and
young people themselves are encouraged to use it both as a process to
support their transitions from school and as a document to provide
information. Some concerns were raised about health disclosures and any
disclosures which may, in fact, be detrimental when presenting the Passport
to employers. Changes to the Passport will be made to reflect these concerns.

Future Developments

The evaluation of the School Leaver Passport has highlighted that this is a
document which will be beneficial to young people, school staff and post-
school providers in supporting a good transition process from school. Young
people will benefit by being afforded the opportunity to reflect on strengths
and areas for development; by practicing completion of a form similar to an
application form; and by being better prepared for interviews post-school.
School staff will benefit from having a more streamlined and standardised
process for providing information to post-school providers; and providers
themselves will have access to the information they require to place and
support young people appropriately.

As a result of the evaluation, changes have been made to the Passport and it
has been agreed that, rather than rolling out to all Angus secondary schools,
the procedures and processes at Brechin High School and Forfar Academy
will be developed this session to ensure that staff and S4/S5 pupils are more
prepared for the completion and usage of the Passport. Both electronic and
hand-written versions will be available in both schools and staff will be briefed
in the Autumn term to ensure that procedures are clear well in advance. The
S5 returnees from both schools will get the opportunity to update their
Passports.

In addition, the Passport will also be piloted with the pupils from Arbroath High
School and Arbroath Academy who are participating in the Authority’s pre-
NEET strategy.




Jacqueline Boyle
Educational Psychologist
Chairperson to the Transitions to Post School Working Group.



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