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Thursday, 25 February 2010


Title strap: “A generation of disengaged children is waiting in the wings…”Demos (in the UK) has just published a most disturbing report, 'EX CURRICULA' documenting what most of us know or suspect. It addresses the growing and often ignored problem of NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training). The opening paragraph of the summary states:

"The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) continues to confound policy makers. Policy initiatives have not worked to combat this seemingly intractable problem, largely because they are designed to impact too late, when a young person’s disengagement from their education is already endemic."
The 334 page .pdf document loaded surprisingly quickly, but takes a long time to read through. The report is disturbing if not at least downright challenging. The authors, Sonia Sodha and Julia Margo are supported by contributions from a myriad of distinctive writers and organisations. Political parties of all colours and particularly education fora need to seriously consider its challenges.

For me, as yet again, I was disappointed to see no reference throughout the 334 pages to e-Portfolios. It is my contention that the e-Portfolio in the contexts of NEETS cannot be ignored. The e-Portfolio (and in particular eFolio) is specifically designed to meet two very obvious needs: The need felt by children to give expression to their own perception of 'ME', and secondly the e-Portfolio can give an enhanced view of the young person's background and feelings which family, carers, education staff, mentors and club leaders etc can do well to read and understand.

So, perhaps my readers might start the ball rolling by suggesting clear examples of how an e-Portfolio can do for NEETS what the high ground of HE so regularly claim!

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