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Research into Post 16 Transition among Aimhigher Students

In spite of the very intensive support provided to Aimhigher students up until they leave school, little is known of what happens to them once they transfer into a non Aimhigher institution (in particular whether they go on to complete their course, or whether they receive any other transitional support). This research, funded by Aimhigher Kent and Medway, explored the level of transitional support provided to Aimhigher students following transition from an Aimhigher target school to a different learning environment - such as grammar school or Further Education College.

Through a series of interviews with young people, Further Education colleges, Aimhigher schools and grammar schools, the research identified the various forms of transitional support students felt they would have benefited from and had actually received. Finally, the research identified key areas of good practice and made recommendations on what initiatives could be implemented to reduce student withdrawal rates in the future.

The research also involved interviews with Aimhigher learning mentors and sixth form heads, and with students and young people who had recently left education.

The research showed that Aimhigher learning mentors were a central element to the support provided to students, and that they were extremely committed to securing the best possible outcomes for them. Mentors had developed strong, effective relationships with young people that often continued after the student left school. However, specific student profiles and information regarding personal student needs was inadequately shared between institutions. Information sharing needs to be conducted in an efficient and timely manner in order to encourage a smoother transition into post compulsory education for students.

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