Case history: Launch of RPA Legislation
Through a scheme known as ‘Raising the Participation Age’ (RPA), by 2013 all young people will be expected to take part in education, training, or employment with training until the age of 17. In 2015, this will be extended to the age of 18
To monitor how learners and their parents/carers react to the scheme, including their understanding of its requirements, and observation of how their experiences and views change throughout the launch period. We also identified how to present RPA in the clearest way possible, through the most relevant media, and with the most encouraging messages to raise the aspirations of key target groups and their parents/carers
What we did:
We worked for two of the local authorities which had been selected as ‘pilot areas’ for the launch and who would responsible for the introduction of RPA in their schools.
Half-day workshops were run with groups of learners in Years 8 and 9 (the first to be affected by the scheme) to understand how they obtain information, how and when they make decisions affecting their career and who most influences their choices. We devised games and activities to help participants to express their feelings about staying on in education beyond the age of 16, and they finished by working in pairs to design posters promoting the benefits of the scheme.
In the evenings, groups of parents or carers were convened to discuss their reactions to RPA and how it would affect their children’s education and opportunities.
How the research helped:
Our clients were able to engage with students and their parents more effectively as a result of their understanding of their reactions to the new scheme. Appropriate posters and leaflets could be designed to spread the message, and some of the students and their families have been recruited as ambassadors to encourage their peers.
Download the full case history here.