Male student in a red top next to the black shiny bricks outside the main buidling of East Durham College's Peterlee Campus

Engage (Pre-16) School Referral Service

Engage (Pre-16) School Referral Service previously known as the Transitional Development Service (TDS) is another aspect of support within college for learners who may be at risk of disengaging from their learning programme.

The aims of the Service are:

  • To support an alternative educational programme for young people aged between 14 and16 who are not engaging fully in mainstream education.
  • To effectively support the transitional process of students between the ages of 14 and 19 who are deemed at risk of dropping out of their educational programme.
  • To re-engage young people aged 14 to 19 years old into learning and to provide opportunities for positive progression into the world of work, training or further education.
  • To promote success through meaningful and relevant programmes which are tailored to the individual needs of each pupil.
  • To develop self-esteem and confidence and to encourage responsibility and consideration for others.
  • To prepare young people for the transition into adulthood and present them with the opportunity to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.
  • To identifying issues and use timely and appropriate intervention strategies to enable the student to successfully re-engage in their programme of study.
  • To liaise closely with Personal Learning Coach/Mentors/Lecturers to act as a back up to support actions/strategies already initiated.
  • To initiate and maintain effective relationships between students and other appropriate staff and/or external agencies

Who's Engage (Pre-16) School Referral Service for?

Young People (aged 14 to 16)
Referrals are made via schools or other recognised agencies. This ensures that issues of funding, school/local authority permission, appropriate levels of support and any child protection issues are addressed prior to admission. Provision will only be offered subject to approval from all parties involved.

Young People (aged over 16 and who are prospective learners)
Year 12 learners can access college through Engage rather than the normal college admission system, if it is felt that the individual needs a higher level of support to assist with the transition from school into post–16 education.

Disruptive behaviour is anything which hinders the learning of the student or others, and can include persistent lateness or poor/falling attendance, unacceptable behaviour and current students displaying such behaviour can be referred to Engage. Once referred the Engage team will liaise closely with relevant subject lecturers and discuss the issues leading to referral. Engage staff will also discuss and explore issues which are contributing to negative behaviour with the learner and negotiate and action plan. A copy of this action plan is forwarded to the Progression Coach.

Ongoing support will be targeted towards the needs of the individual until deemed no longer necessary and will take place in the classroom, in the Engage area of the College or any other appropriate environment.

What Ofsted Has To Say About East Durham College's Engage Provision

Following an inspection in January 2018, Ofsted inspectors gave East Durham College a 'Good' rating and had the following to say about our Engage provision:

Governors and senior leaders have ensured that full-time provision for 14- to 16year-olds has been implemented effectively to meet the expectations for younger learners. Leaders have established a comprehensive curriculum that concentrates well on the core subjects of English, mathematics and science alongside a good vocational offer, such as hairdressing, construction and engineering. Learners benefit from personalised programmes of study that are aligned well to their career aspirations and which re-engage them effectively in meaningful education. They benefit from their experience at the college and the opportunity to expand their understanding of the different options open to them on completion of their programmes, while learning in a safe and dedicated environment.

Contact Us

The Engage (Pre-16) School Referral team is based in Room G64 at the Willerby Grove Campus, Peterlee. Tel: 0191 518 8235.

Alternatively you can contact: Karen Mitcheson 0191 518 8338 or Janice Armstrong 0191 518 8235.