At LWS Academy, our Pathways programme forms a large part of students’ personalised timetable in Key Stage 4, with the intention of increasing opportunity and success for post 16 destinations. Beginning the transition into further education or training environments as early as Year 10 has proven successful as we have a low proportion of students identified as NEET. Our most recent Year 11 leavers had 100% of students in further education, employment of training. Popular destinations for students are colleges and apprenticeships.
We have a number of local providers that we have well established links with, including colleges and alternative providers. We are constantly looking for forge new links with relevant providers depending on emerging student need. Currently, we are trialling expanding the offer to selected Key Stage 3 students.
We have a range of quality assurance checks and monitoring for our providers, including visits up to twice per year to see students within the learning environment. LWS staff support students on their transition into the Pathways system, and this academic year we have begun to set targets for their personal development. These individual targets are monitored by LWS staff.
We endeavour to have a joint Service Level Agreement signed between LWS and each alternative provider. The vast majority are complementary of this, commenting on the clear responsibilities of both LWS and the provider. Where necessary, we adapt the SLA to suit individual providers in relation to the tailored service on offer and the reporting process for student success and concerns. Individual student profiles are created and shared with providers to give a snapshot of student working levels, areas of need, educational and behavioural strategies. We work with providers if they require additional information or a risk/benefit analysis to further support students.
Attendance is monitored in a range of ways, dependent on the provider, student and support required on site.
Students typically achieve accreditation from most alternative providers. Common areas of accreditation are industry specific qualifications directly related to vocational training, ASDAN unit awards designed to support student holistic development, or diploma type qualifications tailored to individual preferences. Qualifications achieved by students on our Pathways system enrich their applications for post 16 destinations.
Education Business Partnership (EBP) works with LWS to find suitable placements for all Key Stage 4 students. The initial 6 week block placement aims to give students a view as to life in the ‘real working world’. There have been times when employers have requested for the placement to be extended due to success. In these cases, students have often secured employment or further training post 16 from their employer. Where appropriate, we work with EBP to quality check work ‘own placements’. This is where a student has expressed a specific interest in a family business. In addition, our dedicated EBP adviser works with us onsite once per month offering careers advice and guidance.