Five mechanisms for tackling the risks to NEEThood: introducing a pathway to change to guide educators’ support strategies
Tackling NEEThood remains a major UK policy focus, with numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) stubbornly high and the COVID-19 Pandemic exacerbating school disengagement and widening inequalities. Drawing on rich qualitative data from a three-year study evaluating educational interventions tackling NEEThood, this paper explores such interventions were successful from the perspectives of the young people and their educators. We introduce five mechanisms underpinning effective support strategies, arguing that these enable a pathway to change for young people. We distinguish between foundational mechanisms, essential at the outset of work with young people, facilitating mechanisms which build on these foundations, and outcome-generating mechanisms which lead to education and work goals. These findings underscore the importance of tackling the social aspects of educational disengagement, as well as the critical role of advocacy and support from an adult who can unpick the complex barriers to engagement and learning.