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Innovative pathways from school: Taking the first step: Final report

Innovative pathways from school: Taking the first step: Final report
Sally Boyd, with Sue McDowall and Hilary Ferral

The Innovative Pathways from School study was designed to address an information gap about the programmes that support “at-risk” students at low-decile secondary schools to make successful transitions from school to the workforce or further education. This research started in 2002 and tracked a sample of students from seven schools, as they completed vocational Year 12 and 13 programmes, and in the 18 months following their departure from school.

This report examines the young people’s experiences of senior secondary school as a whole, and by doing so addresses two key educational concerns:

  • what encourages students who are disenchanted with the education system to re-engage, stay at school, and achieve? 
  • what school experiences support young people to feel prepared for the transition from school?

There were seven main aspects of the school programmes that emerged as supporting the young people’s retention and transition. This report describes the different ways school staff:

  • offered a relevant curriculum to create positive attitudes towards school
  • used student-centred pedagogies to build relationships
  • provided access to careers and transition information, advice, and support
  • provided opportunities to “learn by doing” for example, in the workplace
  • created bridges to the tertiary environment
  • provided opportunities to gain qualifications
  • provided opportunities to develop life skills.

The report concludes with suggestions for matching policies and practices to the needs of young people who are leaving school.

Year published: 
Publication type: 
Research report
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