Ecotec asked us to help them produce a diverse range of new materials for the Youth Justice Board to bring about a significant change in the education of these young people.
Ecotec is an international provider of research, consulting and management services focused on the development, delivery and evaluation of public policy. For more than twenty years their expertise has helped their clients in the public, private and third sectors to understand and meet their challenges.
Research evidence suggested that engagement in education and training is one of the most important factors in reducing offending and reoffending.
Ecotec asked us to help them produce a diverse range of new materials for the Youth Justice Board to bring about a significant change in the education of these young people. The key question they asked was “how do we engage the education and training system in meeting the needs of young people at risk of offending or reoffending?”
Although it was a daunting challenge, there was willingness to produce a range of materials that helped both the learners and the people teaching them.
The solution to the problem of ensuring the educational access, participation and progression of the young people was to use a series of arts based packs that made the material both engaging, educational and interesting. It was mapped onto the National Curriculum so that the progress of the students could be assessed and monitored. The numeracy and literacy was blended throughout the course work and not taught in a formal way, making it both relevant and useful, rather than abstract and theoretical, something that frustrated the learners.
All the packs have been designed and produced to cover subjects as diverse as Circus Skills, Fashion and Poetry and are all being used in the re-engagement of learners. Particular care was taken to design materials so that they wouldn’t look like text books or reference materials. Typography, imagery, formats, writing and graphics where used to add interest and pace.
The format of the materials never took a standard approach, videos, journals and books were all developed to suit the subject and made to feel special so that the learners would take pride in them and their work. We asked for help and contributions from well known authors and artists to add kudos to the material and received numerous donations that became part of the educational packs. The packs have all been well received both by the learners and the educators and are being used widely.