The focus of this project is to address the needs of a small number of youngsters in S3 who are in danger of falling into the NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) category when completing their fourth year of secondary education.

These are youngsters whose behaviour, attendance or achievement and attainment are well below the expected level. They are ‘getting in trouble’, including detention and exclusion, on a regular basis and for whom the current alternatives the school can offer by way of support have not had a positive effect. Some of these youngsters also have significant social barriers to their learning through family difficulties such as unemployment or have ‘difficult’ family circumstances.

The negative effect on their own learning and the learning of others is significant and the project aims to re-engage these youngsters in the learning process by providing an alternative to their current curriculum.

The programme will take them through the second half of their S3 year and all of their S4 with the aim that by the end of S4 the youngsters will have;

• reduced the frequency of detentions and exclusions and improve attendance;
• achieved success appropriate to their level of ability in their school subjects;
• a positive outlook on their future options;
• a definite idea of what they would like to do after S4 (education, training or
• a belief in their ability to succeed in their chosen career ‘path’ and;
• a stronger sense of their place in their local community.

The benefits to the school will be;

• less time spent on dealing with the consequences of the negative behaviour of a small
minority of students, both by the Senior Management Team(SMT) and class teachers;
• better achievement and attainment for this small group of students;
• stronger links with the community through the use of outside agencies to deliver some of the alternative curriculum activities and by raising the profile of the support provided to some of the most needy youngsters;
• in the longer term a sustainable alternative to the ‘full’ S3/4 curriculum of eight
subjects for those who are finding most difficulty coping with a full academic load.

These success criteria embody the principles of A Curriculum for Excellence, upon which the foundations of the programme are built.