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How can we better protect the most vulnerable young people from falling out of education and employment?

Background: 

Nationally, young people who become Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET) are likely to experience a range of other negative personal outcomes, triggering both personal and wider economic costs: over £65,000 each in direct lifetime costs to public finances and £120,600 in wider lifetime costs to the economy and wider community. We’ve worked with two councils and the DfE to develop a new approach for tackling this social issue.

What we are doing: 

We worked collaboratively with decision-makers from across NEET reduction services and schools to better understand the problem and what data and insight would be most helpful. We conducted in-depth user research and a data diagnostic into the quality information available to construct a minimum viable longitudinal data model that could provide new insights into the drivers of becoming NEET. The data model draws on information on children and young people from 15+ databases to create a more holistic picture of their experiences through social and public services. The data model and visualisation tools enabled us to find that young people who had contact with social care were five times more likely to become NEET – the biggest driver.

Our analysis has changed how each local authority thinks about and supports children at risk of becoming NEET. For example, Manchester City re-commissioned the service to prioritise children who have touched the social care system. We have also informed the national conversation, with the Department for Education replicating our analysis nationally and finding similar results. The ability to think holistically about the drivers of NEET is enabling young people to access more tailored and impactful programmes.