Monthly Archives: May 2014

Issues in monitoring and measuring the quality of alternative education

Regardless of what approach to quality is taken, there are still difficulties in the evaluating quality in alternative education which require additional consideration. These include: (1)  Who decides what counts as a valuable outcome? Most of the literature on the outcomes of alternative education offers strongly futures-oriented goals of the kind that policy-makers, education systems […]

quality outcomes in alternative education

In education, there are generally three approaches to quality – (1) a standards approach: this works with a set of benchmarks developed by the purchaser/commissioner, to be applied universally (2) a fit for purpose framework: this uses criteria for quality, defined by the provider and user groups in relation to the purpose of the programme […]

what happens to young people who have been in alternative education?

Many researchers have lamented the lack of available data on the outcomes of alternative education. There is a great deal of case study research across alternative education programmes – this largely focuses on best practices. There is also research which evaluates individual programmes, and a little of this is longitudinal (e.g. Carswell, Hanlon, O’Grady, Watts, […]

organisational challenges for alternative education

Selecting and training staff Some US school districts require staff who work in alternative provision to possess the highest levels of teacher qualifications as well as additional training in relevant areas such as counselling, special education and therapeutic approaches (Foley & Pang, 2006). However, many US states also face chronic shortages of staff and have […]

evaluation practices in alternative education

National and international researchers (e.g. Aron, 2006; Gutherson, Davies, & Daskiewicz, 2011; Thomson & Russell, 2009; White, Martin, & Jeffes, 2012) suggest that alternative education providers are not always good at stating what are their programme goals, their expectations for students, and how these will be monitored and measured. OfSTED (2011) were particularly concerned about […]

reintegration to school

One of the alternative education pathways that are in use is short to medium term full-time alternatives. Students are sent out of the school for anything from a few weeks to a year in order to provide: a break in long term patterns of disengagement, disruption and/or failure; a new experience of success and an opportunity […]

communication between schools and alternative providers

Alternative education providers might need/want to communicate with schools: If they are receiving students via referral procedures If they are offering part time learning options for students who attend school for the remainder of the time If they offer short term placements from which students are intended to return to their schools If they are […]

who attends and what is on offer?

Two key issues that are highlighted in the literatures are related to WHO is enrolled in alternative education and WHAT IS ON OFFER to them. (1) Enrolment There are three issues of concern related to enrolment – (a) who is on the roll, (b) referral processes and (c) barriers to access. (a)   Who is on […]

‘Best practices’ in alternative education

A national survey conducted by the US Department of Education (Carver, Lewis, & Tice, 2010) produced a list of ‘findings’ about the best alternative education on offer to American young people : Personal Issues –      Finding One – Students want respect and acceptance for who they are and what their abilities are. –      Finding Two […]

Why are alternatives needed?

Young people who are on the edges of formal schooling frequently tell researchers that: the curriculum on offer is not interesting or relevant they are bored teachers are disinterested in them discipline is unfair they have been bullied or ridiculed and the school has done nothing to support them or has been unable to support […]