Evaluations into our work with children and young people
SOS+ Broxbourne: Aspire Beyond
Evaluated by: JH Consulting
Qualitative data for this evaluation was gathered through twenty-five face to face and telephone interviews with mentees, staff and parents and through observing five mentoring sessions. The evaluator also had access to programme monitoring and reporting data and a limited amount of school monitoring data relating to attendance, punctuality and discipline.
‘Aspire Beyond’ is a bespoke mentoring programme, embedded since September 2018 within two schools in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (St. Mary’s Church of England High School and Haileybury Turnford School). It was developed to help identify, engage with, support and improve the life chances of vulnerable young people at risk of involvement in youth violence, exploitation and gang culture.
- 82 young people supported on the programme, with 31 current cases
- Almost 70% of mentees across the two schools are recorded as BAME, with that rising to 95% for St. Mary’s school. It is likely that this indicates an over-representation of BAME boys being referred to the programme and it is important for schools to be mindful of racial bias (conscious or unconscious) in relation to interpreting the potential reasons for presenting behaviour
- All mentees are male and in fact of the eighty-two young people supported in total over the life of the pilot, only one was female. Both schools recognise the need to extend and/or develop the programme such that it is available to and appropriate for girls who tend to present differently and therefore may not be identified as at risk in the same way as boys.
- While it has not been possible to draw conclusions from the schools’ quantitative data about the programmes impact on attendance, anecdotal feedback strongly suggests it has been instrumental in keeping some pupils in school.