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The Learning Coaches of Wales

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1 The Learning Coaches of Wales
Danny Saunders (University of Glamorgan and Welsh Assembly Government) Alan Evans (Cardiff University) IPDA Conference 30th November 2007 A Danny Saunders (Welsh Assembly Government and University of Glamorgan) Alan Evans (National Mentoring Project and Cardiff University)

2 The Challenges in Wales
Key stage 3 and 4 attainment “NEET” status Heads of the Valleys crisis Leitch style sector priorities Gifted and More Able populations Expectations of higher education: the First Campus partnership Learning Pathways policy on entitlement

3 A strategic journey 3 Phases
Its going to take some serious strategy, and the obvious starting point is the WAG guidance documents. The whole agenda represents a fully joined up approach, with Learning coaches playing a key role. I reiterate that Learning coach support will not work if it is not quality assured. Young people have a basic entitlement to learning coach support, but learning coaches come from diverse backgrounds. Careers Advisers, Youth Workers, Classroom Assistants, Teachers. These individuals need something to bind them together in terms of service delivery. 3 Phases

4 The first phase: functional analysis for “ a good Learning Coach
The first phase: functional analysis for “ a good Learning Coach...” based on stakeholder workshops and CQFW design: Speaks the same language Engages 1:1 Raises the game Homes in on study skills Links with other experts Knows where the line is drawn Tough but fair Knows where to start and when to stop Provides practical tips, hints, techniques Draws out talent and potential Develops a plan Helps a young person make choices

5 Programme Structure 1 Programme consists of five modules, delivered by the First Campus consortium of the four universities in South-East Wales: Module 1: The Mentoring Process Module 2: Coaching for Learning Module 3: Study Strategies Module 4: Legislation Module 5: Referral Methods & Systems

6 Programme Structure 2 Each module worth 10 level 4 credits within the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales Each module requires 100 hours of study, including two training days, coaching activities, reading of background materials, portfolio development and assessment

7 Recognition of Training
Certificate of a Recognised Learning Coach awarded to participants who attend the ten days of training across the five modules Certificate of an Accredited Learning Coach awarded to participants who also successfully complete the assessment for each of the five modules

8 Assessment of the Modules
Assessment methods include: Written assignments Case studies Portfolios Reflective journals Guided discussions

9 Teaching Assistants & Other
Backgrounds of Learning Coaches Youth and social workers Teachers Careers Service Teaching Assistants & Other

10 About the coaches Career backgrounds (gatekeepers, catalysts, volunteering, caring) Top training priorities - relationships - listening – empathy - learning styles – referral – transition Variable caseloads (4-106) for borderlines Individual and team operations Addressing national and local agendas Referral and drop-in operations Real role play: wearing different hats Designing complex open and closed environments for learning support Confidentiality, disclosure, referral Trainee status and unrealistic expectations

11 Some memorable quotes “If they don’t show I go and get them”
“This was someone who easily remained in the background, it took ages to even get him to smile at me” “The VAK made sense and helped me to explain to him that other students around him have very different learning styles – such as listening and taking notes and quietly working…he realised that his behaviour was actually frustrating his friends rather than just simply annoying the teacher”

12 The Array of Methods VAK - going between SWOT - Mindmaps
learning inventories - games role play - quizzes groupwork - reframing revision strategies - exam techniques medication - mobile technology family meetings - options menu applying to college - applying for work tracking - monitoring managing mentors - time management resource building - problem solving

13 Mind Mapping


15 Some Challenges Role clarity: coaching, mentoring, advising, tutoring
Consistency between First Campus universities Conflicts of interest for learners and for base organisations Options menus that actually work Transition and tracking “NEET” specialisms as well as MAT – local agendas Welsh Bac embedding VAK validity Hostility (resource jealousy, professional rivalry?) Short-term funding policy Recognition status Accreditation and qualifications pathways at levels 3-7

16 A continuum for emergency & long term learner support (Thomas and Smith 2004; Hughes 2006)
Non-Directive Counselling Coaching Mentoring Guidance Telling Directive

17 Phase 3: Next Steps Delivering entitlement
A coaching culture and network support Out of school/college support Local delivery using options menus Level 3,4,5,6,7 qualifications Clarifying professional roles Older and younger learners

18 A Final Reminder Evidence from Networks will inform the development and refinement of aspects of the policy, for example, in developing further guidance, based on best practice and evidence of impact, on how the Learning Coach function can be implemented in a way which provides the optimum support for learners but which is also affordable and for which the capacity is available. Some of this capacity within the school and FE sector could be realised through changing the balance between direct taught time and time devoted to learning support. (Section 5.0 of guidance notes for Pathways)

19 Close

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