Wales

Calls for BTEC to prevent pupils becoming so called 'Neets'

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Media captionThe qualification is aimed at are so-called 'Neets' - those not in education, employment or training

There are calls for a qualification to be rolled out to help pupils at risk of losing interest in school.

The BTEC qualification covers issues such as managing money and risk, career success and self esteem.

Targeting pupils in Year 9, the programme is aimed at tackling potential 'Neets' - those not in education, employment or training.

Its developer said some young people need a "penny-dropping moment" to realise the importance of education.

Sweet - succeeding with education employment and training - is billed as a guide on "how to be successful".

Almost 1,000 young people in south Wales are already following the scheme.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Sweet is a BTEC qualification in personal and social development for all 11 to 18-year-olds

The latest statistics show 8.9% of 16 to 18-year-olds in Wales are 'Neets'. The Welsh government said the rate fell by almost 12% between 2013 and 2014 - the lowest level since data started being collected.

Gwawr Booth, who developed the programme, said: "We felt there were some young people who needed a bit of a penny-dropping moment where they realise the importance of education and training.

"Some young people just lose their way a bit and we just wanted to put together a resource that was going to try to make them think a little bit more about where they were heading and what the reality was.

"If we can get a qualification whilst doing that then it's a win-win situation for everybody. And yes, I would love to see this rolled out across Wales."

Course Call for Schools in Wales

Neet

Not in education, employment or training

Sweet

Succeeding with education, employment and training

  • 8.9% of 16-18 year olds in south Wales fall into the neet category

  • 1,000 (approx) young people across south Wales following sweet

  • 94.8% of those who followed sweet this year gained a Level 1 or Level 2 GCSE

Almost 95% of those young people who have followed the Sweet course this year have gained the qualification - a Level 1 or Level 2 GSCE.

Kelly Rowlands runs ACT school in Cardiff which caters for pupils who have had problems while attending mainstream education.

She said: "It's far more than just the piece of paper they get at the end of it. It's about the life skills that they get throughout.

"As they progress through the qualification, we have a noticeable improvement in their behaviour and also their motivation to learn and their engagement.

"It's definitely one of the more successful qualifications we run."

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