Each year on average 2,200 young people between the ages of 14-16 are excluded from mainstream education in the UK. That’s 12 exclusions every school day. Excluded children are the most vulnerable; twice as likely to be in the care of the state, four times more likely to have grown up in poverty, seven times more likely to have a special educational need and ten times more likely to suffer recognised mental health problems.
Most have no hope of getting out of a system they fell in often through no fault of their own. They will go on to cost the state £763m in extra health, criminal justice, welfare and education costs in their lifetime. 63% of the prison population were excluded from school at some stage in their lives.
Is this right? Some say it’s about giving them a second chance, but with our young people, it’s often their first chance.
At Dallaglio Rugby Works, we want to change this. We get to work right at the heart of the system. We place our coaches in local Alternative Provision, where we work hand in hand with local teaching staff, using the values of rugby to help develop a wide range of essential skills for these permanently excluded teenagers. We provide structure and support, and a pathway to the future.
These are some of the hardest young people to reach, but our programme is working. Over a period of 3 years we work with each young person to get them in to employment or further education and the results have been encouraging.
Currently we operate across the UK in 70 Alternative Provision sites and have over 560 young people on the programme, that’s close to 25% of all permanently excluded 14-16 year olds across the country.
Our results are significant, a young person on our programme is 3 times more likely to pass a Maths & English Level 2 and twice as likely to still be in education, employment or training 12 months after leaving school. Both significant predictors of future employability and ability to support themselves and their families to build a better life.