Pushed out learners
The Facework project began in 2016 with funding from Nominet Trust which supported Stephen in co-designing employment training resources for young people in Alternative Education settings. Working with The Inclusion Trust, 30 students and staff from 6 Pupil Referral Units helped to codify which soft skills for work they already possessed, what they needed, and what was the best way to engage them in mastering these skills.
The project sought to create genuinely differentiated and personalised curricula that was co-designed with learners, which linked the acquisition of competencies and skills to their existing world, interests and dreams. Many of these “pushed-out learners” struggled to grow their academic skills and so the question of whether the current accreditation system is a good proxy for employability is particularly relevant.
Some of these resources, including this sleep diary are available to download below.
In 2015 Facework contributed to this report which looked at the current state of Alternative Education in the UK and made clear recommendations including the importance of supporting students in transitions to employment.
Student Created films
Part of the initial project was helping students to create videos (shot on their phones) giving advice to their peers about soft-skills. Some of these films are still available here.
Full informed consent was gained before these were published.
“Having been involved in behaviour management and school leadership for over 40 years, in both mainstream and Alternative Provision, I have always championed this topic of life skills and preparing young people for the world of work. However, more than ever our education system and exam regime is in danger of prioritising IQ at the expense of EQ, with the result that many students are ill-prepared for today’s uncertain world when they step outside of the school gate.
But that’s where this Facework resource could help fill some of the gaps. It’s ideal for staff to use in discussions with students and introduces the importance of these skills, not in some theoretical way, but through practical exercises which help students see what they already have and how they can grow these skills required for the world of work and life in general. It’s great for tutor time, PSHE, mentoring etc and will be particularly useful in supporting staff who work directly with those young people who find mainstream school a challenge. I would also recommend it to youth workers, career practitioners, employers and even parents who want to inspire young people to grow and flourish. The free video/material downloads make this a very cost-effective resource and makes it stand out from the rest.“
John Bradshaw OBE Mainstream and Alternative Provision Principal (Retired).