Best Practice

At risk of dropping out? How to turnaround a disconnected young person

We all understand the importance of re-engaging with disaffected students and those at risk of dropping out, but this is often easier said than done. Mark Goodwin – who does this for a living – offers his advice and a ‘turnaround checklist’

Some young people do not like school much. It saddens this teacher to write those words but I see evidence of it every day in the schools I work with and the young people I meet there.

Regardless of their home environment, they did not like school before the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, and they likely won’t like it much in the future.

In fact, they may be even more reluctant to attend school than they were before…

So, how do schools re-engage these young people? My role every day is to do just that, re-engage with pupils who have been non-attenders at school due to either illness or exclusion – or pupils who are still in school but deeply disengaged.

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