THE NATIONAL EVALUATION OF THE CAREERS SCOTLAND INCLUSIVENESS PROJECTS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1. The Beattie Committee was established in April 1998 with a remit to review the needs and provision of services for young people with additional support needs making the transition from compulsory education to post-school options. It reported late in 1999 1 with a response from the Scottish Executive in early 2000. The Beattie Committee took a wide-ranging view of what constituted 'clients with additional support needs' and included young people achieving low levels of educational attainment within its remit. The Committee identified the lack of 'joined-up' service provision for 16-24 year olds as a fundamental weakness of the existing infrastructure and argued the need for a more inclusive approach which placed client needs at the centre of service provision.
1.2. In response to the Beattie Report the Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department (SEETLLD), as it has now become, allocated £15m from April 2001 up to March 2004 in order to implement a programme of Inclusiveness Projects in each of the then 17 Careers Service areas. Bids were invited, drawn up by the Careers Services, and submitted to SEETLLD. Since that time, following the completion of the Interim National Evaluation Report on the Inclusiveness Projects in 2003, a further two years of funding has been awarded. This funding has been allocated through Careers Scotland which is now responsible for the continuing delivery of the Inclusiveness Projects and the mainstreaming of the Inclusiveness approach within its own All Age Guidance service.
1.3. The SEETLLD, at an early stage, decided to put in place a National Evaluation framework which would allow it to assess the influence and impact of the Inclusiveness Projects. SQW Ltd, leading a consortium of research agencies, was commissioned to implement the National Evaluation. The other research partners included TNS Social (formerly NFO Social Research), David Henderson of Insight Ltd and Inspire Scotland. A steering group to guide the study was established by SEETLD in January 2002. The objectives of the evaluation consisted of the following:
- identifying the added value obtained as a result of the funding
- identifying the key issues which arose in the development, planning, negotiation and implementation of the additional provision
- assessing the relative effectiveness of different approaches in addressing these issues and for the achievement of particular national or local objectives
- looking at how effectively the programme met national objectives
- considering the extent to which the programme could be said to have achieved greater inclusiveness for clients and service providers
- considering how the programme could be further developed to achieve greater benefits for clients.
1.4. In addition, it was intended that the outcomes from the Final Report should contribute to the development of Careers Scotland as a national, All Age Guidance service. Careers Scotland was established following the Duffner Committee Report in April 2002. Delivery of the Inclusiveness Projects now takes place through the Careers Scotland structure. In the Final Report, although we continue to use the term Inclusiveness Projects, we are in fact now referring to a form of service for which Careers Scotland is responsible, albeit one which is distinctive from many of the agency's other services in both shape and form.
1.5. The evaluation was to take place over a 32-month period from January 2002 through to September 2004. Originally, four main sources of information (Table 1.1) were identified in order to inform the research.
Table 1.1: Core methodology; initial phase
- a baseline survey of Projects to help capture the characteristics of each and to provide a context for describing subsequent change at a local level
- analysis of Local Area Toolkits - monitoring data from each of the local Projects
- a longitudinal survey of 600 Inclusiveness clients to explore client perceptions of the programme
- case studies of all the Inclusiveness Projects, to explore the extent to which the Inclusiveness Projects have fulfilled the principles of the Beattie Report.
1.6. The Inclusiveness Projects were originally managed by individual Careers Service Companies but since April 2002 have been under the collective management of Careers Scotland. Careers Scotland operates a regional structure consisting of five areas across the whole of Scotland. The Inclusiveness Projects, each managed by a Co-ordinator, are delivered through this regional structure. There is also a Senior Manager in Careers Scotland - in the Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands areas respectively - with responsibility for inclusion.
1.7. The establishment of Careers Scotland and its inclusion in the study steering group resulted in a revised approach to the study. Changes were necessary to reflect the new agency's role in providing an all age guidance service and the development of its own internal systems in order to deliver the Projects. The key changes are summarised in Table 1.2.
Table 1.2: Methodology; key changes
Baseline survey of Projects
Proposed approach scaled back and simplified as a result of need to ease burden on staff during important, early development phase
Local Area Toolkits
Careers Scotland introduced its own Performance Management framework incorporating all of the individual Projects
Proposals largely unchanged although suggestions of a control group were dropped when it became clear that this would not be feasible
Case study programme
Number of case studies cut back to make resources available for related evaluation of All Age Guidance service
1.8. As a result of the need to make changes to the original proposals, the research programme was delayed and did not begin until August 2002. Following approval of the proposed research tools, SQW and NFO Social Research were able to pilot the questionnaire and report back on this to the study steering group in September 2002.
1.9. The compilation of a database of clients for the longitudinal study formed a major component of the research development phase. Key Workers were contacted across Scotland and asked to provide the names and details of clients willing to take part. Clients signed a consent form signifying their willingness to be interviewed both for the baseline survey and in subsequent follow-up interviews. A small incentive was offered to clients in order to encourage their involvement. Care was taken to ensure that the sample provided was representative of geographical areas and specific client group types. Two cohorts of clients were tracked in this way.
1.10. As a result of changes to the methodology for a related assignment into All Age Guidance, also being delivered by Careers Scotland, resources were re-allocated and made available for the Inclusiveness Evaluation. Several options were considered by the study steering group and several additional research elements added to the National Evaluation (Table 1.3).
Table 1.3: Methodology; additional elements
The remaining seven case studies were intensified to include a sharper focus on client destinations
An additional 'mini-case' study was carried out exploring the delivery of the Inclusiveness approach in a remote and rural context
Additional partner survey
A telephone survey of partner organisations not consulted as part of the case studies was undertaken to explore the wider partnership benefits of the Inclusiveness approach
Six project survey
A short review was undertaken of six local projects working with similar clients to those of the Inclusiveness Projects to examine the 'added value' of Inclusiveness
Twenty interviews with clients (and where appropriate their parents/guardians) in order to illustrate the role of the Key Worker and the value of support to clients
1.11. The client survey took place between December 2002 and March 2003 with the initial results being made available in May 2003. Six case studies were also undertaken and completed by May 2003. An Interim Report was issued in August 2003 on the basis of this early work.
1.12. The final sets of client survey results were produced in July 2004. The full thirteen case studies were undertaken during the same 32-month period, including 'light touch' follow-up reviews of four Projects subject to case study in the initial phase of the National Evaluation in order to track progress over time. This Final Report is based upon the findings from these pieces of work.
Final Report Structure
1.13. The following chapters present our study findings:
- Chapter Two includes a short account of the Beattie Report and the inclusive inter-agency approach it sought to encourage - it also sets out some of the key targets towards which the Inclusiveness Projects contribute
- Chapter Three looks at the lessons emerging from the Projects in terms of the effectiveness of the Key Worker service and its supporting infrastructure
- Chapter Four considers the influence of the Projects upon partnership working and other developmental issues
- Chapter Five assesses the effectiveness of the Inclusiveness approach in terms of the value added by the Key Workers from the perspective of the clients
- Chapter Six considers the progress and outcomes achieved by the clients of the Inclusiveness Projects
- Chapter Seven contains our conclusions and recommendations.
1.14. Appendix A contains the full case study accounts for seven of the Careers Scotland Projects (those not visited during the Interim Report) and the additional mini-case study of the Shetlands. Appendix B contains a write-up of the survey of all the Inclusiveness Projects carried out in January 2004. Appendix C provides an account of the survey of partner organisations involved in Inclusiveness (but not consulted as part of the case studies). Appendix D contains pen portraits of four clients' experience of Inclusiveness. Finally, Appendix E contains a table with summarised details of six local projects interviewed by telephone in order to provide information on the outcomes which might be expected for Inclusiveness-type clients.