Planned transition is an important part of our work at Links Academy. We carefully consider all possible options with each individual and their strengths and future aspirations in mind. Some students have successfully returned to mainstream schools. Others have opted for apprenticeship, or the world of work, whilst a greater majority have transitioned successfully into mainstream colleges. We work hard to try to ensure that the next move is at the right level and enables the students to build on the success they have experienced with us.
We consider transition from the moment students join, however young they may be, so we can build students’ confidence and social skills through working on areas of need identified in the Hertfordshire Skills Framework such as motivation, respect, resilience, organisation and teamwork. We do this by offering a programme of extended work experience, supported as necessary. We monitor the impact of this.
On a practical level we work closely with YC Hertfordshire (formerly Youth Connexions) to ensure we ‘tap into’ students’ interests to find the right work experience placement, college course and environment for success. We liaise with professionals, parents and, most importantly, our students to determine the next step. We are supported by additional partners who include the Careers and Enterprise Company, who are all equally committed to helping to raise the aspirations of our students and secure the best outcomes for each of them, on an individual basis.
Within our timetabled provision, we ensure there is dedicated cross- curricula careers time, for example in PHSE some students gain City & Guilds certificates in employability skills, whilst in the urban life-skills enterprise activities are undertaken.
Most of our students have experienced much change in their young lives and struggle to cope with any change as a result. To try to proactively address this we try to source every available opportunity to prepare them for the next phase of their lives. We support students by providing courses and experiences with colleges/alternative placements/employers work experience, multiple taster days and supported visits during which we share all the relevant information on every student’s strengths and weaknesses with our professional colleagues. We try to involve our parents in this as much as possible, so they can support the management of impending significant change.
Additional information on Careers can be found on the National Careers Service webpage.