LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS

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LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS

  1. 1. LEARNING AND EDUCATING TOGETHER (LET) Programme 2007 - 2008 Annual Evaluation Report August 2008 1
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS..........................................................................3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY........................................................................................4 1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................8 1.1 LET PROGRAMME AND OBJECTIVES...............................................................................................8 1.2 PROGRAMME CONTENT AND DELIVERY.............................................................................................9 1.3 EVALUATION OBJECTIVES..............................................................................................................9 1.4 LIMITATIONS AND PARAMETERS OF THIS REPORT................................................................................9 2. METHODOLOGY ....................................................................................10 2.1 PROGRAMME STAKEHOLDERS.......................................................................................................10 2.2 OVERALL EVALUATION STRATEGY ................................................................................................10 2.3 SAMPLE SIZE AND POPULATION....................................................................................................10 2.4 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH...........................................................................................................11 2.5 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH.............................................................................................................12 2.6 ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION......................................................................................................12 3. KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS ...........................................13 3.1 PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS ........................................................................................................13 Analysis of Results - Participants ..........................................................................................................13 Analysis of Results - Teachers ...............................................................................................................16 3.2COURSE AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT ...........................................................................................17 Analysis of Results - Participants...........................................................................................................17 Analysis of Results - Teachers ...............................................................................................................25 3.3PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT ...........................................................................................................27 Analysis of Results - Participants ..........................................................................................................27 Analysis of Results - Teachers ...............................................................................................................31 3.3BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE .........................................................................................................33 Analysis of Results - Participants ..........................................................................................................33 Analysis of Results - Teachers ...............................................................................................................35 3.4PEACE AND RECONCILIATION .......................................................................................................36 Analysis of Results - Participants ..........................................................................................................36 Analysis of Results - Teachers ...............................................................................................................38 4. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ..............................................................40 2
  3. 3. LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS Table 1: Summary Table – Evaluation Methods Used Table 2: Summary Table – Questionnaire Response Rates Table 3: Summary Table – Gender Profile Table 4: Summary Table – Age Profile Table 5: Summary Table – Where do you live? Table 6: Summary Table –School Category Table 7: Summary Table –Personal Religion Table 8: Most Enjoyed Activities Table 9: Least Enjoyed Activities Table 10: Happy standing up and talking in front of a group of people Table 11: Happy to talk in a group of people my own age Table 12: Happy speaking out in class Table 13: Happy writing my ideas on paper Table 14: Summary Table – Self Efficacy, Strongly Agree or Agree Table 15: Summary Table – Personal Budgeting and Finance Table 16: Summary Table – Importance of a school education Table 17: Summary Table – Will you get any educational qualifications? Table 18: Summary Table – Importance of Business Table 19: Do you have an interest in business? Table 20: Can you see yourself working in business? Table 21: Summary Table – Can you see yourself starting your own business in the future? Table 22: Summary Table – How much would you enjoy starting a business in the future? Table 23: Summary Table – I have friends from a different religion Table 24: Summary Table – Integrated schooling Table 25: Summary Table – Integrated schooling for me Table 26: Summary Table – Attitude to teacher of another religion Table 27: Summary Table – Attitude to relative of another religion Chart 1: Would you recommend the LET programme to friends? Chart 2: Overall Programme Rating Chart 3: Overall Rating Of Visit One Chart 4: Overall Rating Of Visit Two Chart 5: Overall Rating Of Visit Three Chart 6: Rating – Mix Between Activities Chart 7: Rating – Centre Facilities Chart 8: Rating – Accommodation Chart 9: Rating – Food and Refreshments Chart 10: Rating - Programme Organisation Chart 11: Rating - Equipment 3
  4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Overall 1. This report presents a holistic perspective of the programme by exploring the views of a sample of participants and teachers. 2. Based on research evidence for the year 2007/2008, the programme appears to be meeting its objectives at all levels. The Course and Physical Environment 1. 100% of participants rated the organisation of the programme as excellent, very good or good. 2. 99% of respondents thought that the programme overall was excellent, very good or good. 3. 98% of participants would recommend the programme to their friends. 4. 99% of participants rated the mix between outdoor and indoor activities as good, very good or excellent 5. The most enjoyable outdoor activities by far are those involving water – kayaking, canoeing, speed boating and banana boating. 6. 99% of participants rated the centre facilities as excellent, very good or good. 7. 99% of participants rated the teaching equipment as excellent, very good or good. 8. 95% of participants rated the accommodation as excellent, very good or good. 9. 72% of participants thought that the food was excellent, very good or good. 10. Teachers who participated in a focus group were extremely complimentary about the programme organisation and delivery and were particularly appreciative of the support LET staff provided to teachers and their overall engagement with participants. 11. Teachers thought that the combination of indoor and outdoor activities worked very well. Selected Quotes from Teachers The LET staff were great; they are what would give you confidence to come because they know how to deal with everything! I think the outdoor activities really challenge them but just the right amount, without putting them off...it was well managed. There’s a real value in the classroom activities, a lot of our children would be quite weak…the classroom stuff is great fun – doing jingles and reading out things…I just think that the confidence they get, the non- academic ones, is great. I think it’s important. 4
  5. 5. Personal Development 1. There were significant improvements in participants’ assessment of their communication skills particularly oral communication skills. 2. There was a 26% increase in the number of participants who strongly agree or agree that they are happy speaking out in class. 3. The presentation component of the programme has been very successful with a 24% increase in the number of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are happy to stand up and talk in front of a group of people. 4. There has been a 19% increase in the number of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are happy to talk in a group of people their own age. 5. There were also specific improvements in relation to confidence and decision making. 6. 83% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 73% at the start agree or strongly agree that they have confidence in themselves. 7. 73% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 56% at the start agree or strongly agree that they make good decisions. 8. The financial management component of the programme has been very successful this year. 9. There has been an impressive 35% increase in the number of participants who believe they know a lot about how to manage their money. 10. 89% of participants entered the programme thinking that it was important to save money, this increased to 96% by the end of the programme. 11. Teachers have observed changes in confidence, verbal communication skills and ability to interact with others particularly among shy participants. Some of these changes have transferred back to the school environment. Selected Quotes from Teachers One of our girls was very shy and it was great to see her get up and talk in front of people and make new friends …when she came back from LET she was completely changed, more outgoing and would talk more. You can see that they have all come on in their communication abilities. I think it increases their sense of self worth, they’re one of ten that’s been chosen from the school and they think ‘wow, this is something special and this is an opportunity for me to be me’…when they do new activities, they get a chance to be recognised for being good at something. 5
  6. 6. Business and Enterprise 1. The programme certainly changed participants’ consideration of business, its importance to their local community and their attitudes towards business generally and business start-up. 2. 86% at the end of the programme compared with 68% at the start thought that business was important to their local community. 3. There was an 11% increase in the number of participants who said they had an interest in business. 4. There was a 9% increase in the numbers of participants who would love starting their own business. 5. These positive changes in attitude to business and start-up have not yet made it more likely that participants can see themselves doing these things. 6. Teachers felt that the business and enterprise part of the programme opens students’ eyes, introduces them to a future work option and would increase their interest in business topics later on. 7. Creating a product and business idea continues to be a popular part of the programme and teachers observed the pride that this activity can generate. Selected Quotes from Teachers I’m a guidance counsellor and I see sixth years who…have no understanding of exactly what the world of business is, the diversity of jobs and positions available. The students on the LET programme have a better understanding of it as a career and also how dynamic business is. I teach business studies and a lot of those who went on the LET programme previously went on to pick business studies so that interest is embedded in them. The students have a huge amount of pride in their products. We had one child who got back from the programme and went around to nearly every teacher showing what he had made, he was just so proud of it, it was brilliant for him. 6
  7. 7. Peace and Reconciliation 1. The programme has been extremely successful in facilitating the development of friendships between those from different religions and backgrounds. 2. 86% of participants after the programme compared with 63% at the start said that they had friends from a different religion. 3. There were small increases in personal openness to cross religious interaction. 4. Teachers highlighted the value of the programme in broadening participants’ horizons across religious, social and cultural boundaries. Friendships were formed through the programme. 5. Teachers did not think that the young participants were particularly concerned with cultural and religious differences between people but that the programme provided a good setting to discuss any questions that did arise. Selected Quotes from Teachers Meeting other people is part of what makes it work. They get a new perspective and get friendly with new people; it just wouldn’t work as well if each school did the LET programme on its own. Some of the kids I brought on this programme a few years ago are still in touch with each other, some of them even came to each other’s formals so the benefits are lasting. 7
  8. 8. 1. INTRODUCTION This section of the report outlines the objectives of the Learning and Educating Together programme (LET) and its content and delivery. Secondly it outlines the objectives, limitations and parameters of this evaluation report. 1.1 LET Programme and Objectives Young Enterprise NI (YENI) and Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI), both non- profit organisations are the leading providers of enterprise education in Ireland and are part of the international Junior Achievement network. In 2007/08 YENI and JAI delivered the third year of a programme first piloted in October 2004. The LET initiative is a residential programme targeting 12-13 year olds at risk of disaffection and alienation from mainstream education. Schools located in the most marginalized areas North and South are participating in this cross border/cross community initiative. The project is primarily a preventative initiative and aims to 1. promote peace and reconciliation between young people from both communities in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland 2. introduce young people to the entrepreneurial concept by changing attitudes and perceptions of enterprise The project targets young people aged 12-13 from a range of secondary schools in Northern Ireland and young people in the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. Twenty groups of 30 participants drawn equally from the three cohorts completed a series of three 3-day residentials culminating in a one-day cultural visit. The LET Programme is funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) in an effort to promote peace and reconciliation in the North and South of Ireland and improve employability among youth. The Fund also supports the successful KEY Programme, which is administered by YENI and JAI. 8
  9. 9. 1.2 Programme Content and Delivery Students participating in the programme attend three residential camps during the school year where they participate in a range of outdoor pursuits and workshops focused on; 1. peace and reconciliation with an emphasis on facilitating understanding of different cultures and respective roles in society 2. communication 3. business start up and the role of small business 4. personal finance and budgeting 1.3 Evaluation Objectives The objective of this evaluation report is to determine whether the objectives of the programme were met in its fourth year – 2007/08. This report will use information from teachers as well as aggregate information from participants collected at the start and at the end of the programme to determine whether any changes in attitude, knowledge or skill have occurred. 1.4 Limitations and Parameters of this Report This report adopts a short term perspective based on information from a sample of participants and teachers. The report uses self report data from participants in combination with perceptions and opinions of teachers to determine whether the programme objectives have been met. Self report data from participants is gathered at two time points – a pre-test at the start of the programmes and a post-test at the end of the programme. The reader should be cognisant of these parameters when interpreting the data. 9
  10. 10. 2. METHODOLOGY This section of the report outlines the information gathering process used for evaluation purposes. The stakeholders involved are identified and then the evaluation methodology, instruments and administration are outlined. 2.1 Programme Stakeholders Due to the nature of the programme, two stakeholder groups were identified for the purposes of the evaluation - the participants and their teachers. 2.2 Overall Evaluation Strategy In line with the proposal to the International Fund for Ireland the project was independently evaluated by Dr. Julie Byrne using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Information was gathered before and after the programme using questionnaires, individual and focus group interviews. Where information has been gathered at the start of the programme, this is referred to as pre test. Where information has been gathered at the end or after the programme it is referred to as post test. The overall evaluation strategy for each stakeholder group is outlined in table 1 below. Table 1: Summary Table - Evaluation Methods Used Sample Pre Test Method Post Test Method Participants 40% stratified Questionnaire Questionnaire sample based on school background Teachers Stratified sample of 9 N/A Focus Group Discussion teachers based on school background 2.3 Sample Size and Population This section of the report identifies the sample size, population and response rate recorded for each stakeholder group. 10
  11. 11. Participants For the purposes of this evaluation in 2007/08, the population can be described as all participants on the programme c.600 participants. In line with the agreement with the International Fund for Ireland, each year the programme intake is divided broadly evenly among Northern Ireland schools from the Controlled sector, Northern Ireland schools from the Maintained sector and Republic of Ireland schools. It is also divided broadly evenly among male and female participants with slightly more females. A 40% stratified sample based on school background was taken. A profile of participants who responded is outlined in the analysis section of this report. Because the programme organisers build time into the programme specifically for evaluation activity, the response rates for this group are extremely high. Table 2: Summary Table – Questionnaire Response rates Sample Returned Response Sample Returned Response Pre-Test Pre Test Rate % Post-Test Post-Test Rate % Pre-Test Post-Test Participants 240 240 100 240 232 97 Teachers Teachers are key informants on the personal changes experienced by participants. Their input to the evaluation is critical and can help to contextualise findings from questionnaire analysis. They produce data that is both deep and rich. In the case of the LET programme evaluation, information was sought from those teachers of the participants sampled. Given the analytical ability of teachers and the small number involved, it was decided to use a focus group after the programme to elicit their opinions. Nine teachers, two male and seven female, attended a focus group discussion in the Europa Hotel on May 26 2008. 2.4 Quantitative Research Questionnaires were designed based on the objectives of the programme and used relevant indicators from the Life and Times Survey as well as published research in the areas of enterprise education and self efficacy. Most facts and opinions were gathered both before and after the programme in order to track aggregate changes in participants’ views. Participant views on the programme itself were naturally only gathered at the end of the programme. Questionnaire Format, Structure and Content The questionnaires were designed specifically for analysis by SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) Version 15, which facilitates large scale data sets and multi-dimensional analysis. Some elements of the pre and post test questionnaires were designed to track attitude change and therefore consisted of similar questions to facilitate comparative analysis. 11
  12. 12. Questionnaires were designed to be as short as possible and use language reflecting the young age of participants. Questionnaire Administration As in previous years, LET programme staff took responsibility for the copying, distribution, completion and collection of questionnaires. They built time into the programme schedule (15 minutes) to permit completion of two questionnaires – one on the first morning of the programme, one on the last day of the programme. They were also on hand during completion of questionnaire to answer any questions and ensure individual responses. 2.5 Qualitative Research Qualitative research in the form of a focus group discussion took place in the Europa Hotel on May 26 2008. Teachers Nine teachers from the participating schools who accompanied the participants on residentials attended a focus group discussion. The focus group discussion was conducted in a meeting room at the Europa Hotel in Belfast using a semi- structured instrument. With the permission of the teachers, the discussion was audio-recorded. The audio tape was transcribed and analysed using the outline view function of Microsoft Word. Themes were identified from the transcripts and representative quotes selected for the evaluation report. 2.6 Analysis and Presentation A thematic approach has been adopted throughout the analysis. These themes originate from the stated objectives of the programme and are;  Course and physical environment  Personal development including communication, self efficacy and personal finance  Business and enterprise  Peace and reconciliation For each theme, the views of participants are presented first using frequencies from the pre and post test questionnaires. This analysis is followed by the relevant tables. Selected qualitative data from teachers are then presented in order to supplement and contextualise the results from participant questionnaires. Rounded percentage values from the ‘valid percent’ column of tables have been used in the commentary and analysis. 12
  13. 13. 3. KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS This section of the report presents and analyses the data from the participants, and a sample of their teachers. The data represents the participants’ own opinions about themselves and the programme as well as their teachers’ assessments about the participants and the programme. The analysis is at an aggregate level and distinguishes some significant findings by gender or school background. After presenting a profile of the respondents in section 3.1, the analysis is separated into four thematic sub-sections. Section 3.2 offers feedback on the course and the physical environment, which relates to activities, course length, centre facilities and accommodation. Section 3.3 relates to personal development including perceived changes in communication skills, self- efficacy and attitude to personal finance. Section 3.4 relates to the participants’ attitude to business and enterprise. It looks at propensity towards enterprise and perception of the importance of business. Section 3.5 explores the peace and reconciliation theme of the programme and once again tracks attitude change amongst participants towards those of other religions. Each section will firstly analyse results from participants and present selected tables and charts. This will be followed by an analysis of results from teachers and present selected quotes. 3.1 Profile of Respondents This section presents the biographical data of the participants as well as information on the selection strategies used by participating schools. Analysis of Results - Participants A total of 240 participants completed the questionnaire at the start of the programme and 232 at the end of the programme. The gender profile (table 3) shows that participants are broadly equally divided between male and female. The age profile of participants (table 4) has changed over the duration of the programme as participants are simply getting older. At the start of the programme most participants were 12 years of age, by the end of the programme the vast majority were 13 years of age. 13
  14. 14. Table 3: Summary Table – Gender Profile Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent Male 49 49 Female 51 51 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 4: Summary Table – Age Profile Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent 11 years 3 1 12 years 68 32 13 years 28 67 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2006/07 The geographic dispersion of the participants (table 5) is in line with the pre- determined criteria at the start and at the end of the programme, with two thirds of participants from Northern Ireland and the remaining one third from the Republic of Ireland. 14
  15. 15. Table 5: Summary Table - Where do you live? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent Northern Ireland 67 66 Republic of 33 34 Ireland N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 The profile of schools involved in the sample (table 6) was in line at the start with the criteria outlined for the entire programme. One third was drawn from each of the three categories - Northern Ireland Controlled schools, Northern Ireland Maintained schools and Republic of Ireland schools. At the end of the programme there was a slightly higher representation of Northern Ireland Controlled schools and Republic of Ireland schools a slightly lower percentage of participants from Northern Ireland Maintained schools. The religious background of the participants was ascertained (table 7). . As we might expect two thirds of participants are Catholic (primarily those from Northern Ireland Maintained and Republic of Ireland schools). Almost one third are Protestant (primarily those from Northern Ireland Controlled schools). Table 6: Summary Table – School Category Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent Northern Ireland 33.3 34.1 – Controlled Northern Ireland 33.3 31.9 – Maintained Republic of 33.3 34.1 Ireland N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 7: Summary Table –Personal Religion Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent Catholic 67 65 Protestant 31 32 Do not belong to .8 1.7 any religion Don’t Know .4 .4 Other .8 .9 N= 239 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 15
  16. 16. Analysis of Results - Teachers Participants are selected for the programme by the schools using a range of methods and taking a number of factors into account. Many schools use an application process involving a form and interview to develop important life skills and to increase commitment to the programme. We used an application form and I thought that was very beneficial for them, good practice. We used the application form as well as our own ideas of who might do well to select the final 10. Male Teacher 2 In the main, teachers believe that quieter children, those lacking confidence or with social problems benefit most from the programme and would be the main target group. However, there was a consensus that choosing a mix of participants works well. Including slightly troublesome students in the group can prove to be beneficial and offer them a chance to improve behaviour before things become problematic. The class teachers recommended people who they thought would benefit from the programme and then there was an interview and we selected then. We were keen to offer places to kids lacking in confidence or who had problems mixing with others. Female Teacher 5 It’s a natural attraction to pick the children who you know will behave well and sometimes we have to be risk takers and go for the frustrated child, the child in your hair or the quiet child who really needs something. We go for a mix. There are so many who want to go, it’s a challenge but it needs to be a careful task. Female Teacher 6 Some schools have had bad experiences with parents who are not committed to their child’s participation in the programme and now include this factor in their selection process. We take the parents’ attitude into account, they need to ensure that their child is committed to the programme and won’t be taken out for some reason. Female Teacher 6 16
  17. 17. 3.2 Course and Physical Environment This section presents stakeholder opinion of the programme overall, its content and the physical environment within which it took place. Initially the results from the post test questionnaire given to participants at the end of the programme will be analysed. This will then be supplemented by interview quotes from teachers. Analysis of Results - Participants The overall reaction of participants to the programme is extremely positive. 98% of participants would recommend the programme to their friends (chart 1). Chart 1: Would You Recommend the LET Programme to Friends? Participants Yes 98% Don't know 2% Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Participants were asked to rate each of the three residential visits on the programme as well as the programme overall. 99% of respondents thought that the programme overall was excellent, very good or good (chart 2). The consistency of the quality of programme delivery is evident in the fact that each of the three programme visits, are rated as excellent, very good or good by at least 95% of participants. The final visit was the most popular, rated as excellent by 77% of participants (charts 3-5). 17
  18. 18. Chart 2: Rating – Programme Overall Participants Overall Programme Rating 90.0 81.6 80.0 70.0 60.0 50.0 % 40.0 30.0 20.0 16.1 10.0 1.8 0.4 0.0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Chart 3: Rating – Visit One Participants Visit One Rating 70.0 58.2 60.0 50.0 40.0 % 30.0 25.8 20.0 13.8 10.0 1.8 0.4 0.0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Poor Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 18
  19. 19. Chart 4: Rating – Visit Two Participants Visit Two Rating 70.0 59.5 60.0 50.0 40.0 31.7 30.0 20.0 10.0 4.0 3.1 1.8 0.0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Poor Source: Participants Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Chart 5: Rating – Visit Three Participants Visit Three Rating 90.0 80.0 77.1 70.0 60.0 50.0 % 40.0 30.0 20.0 16.7 10.0 5.3 0.4 0.4 0.0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Poor Source: Participants Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 19
  20. 20. When asked to rate the content of the programme, participants are also very positive. 99% of participants rated the mix between outdoor and indoor activities as good, very good or excellent (chart 6). Once again, this represents very positive feedback and suggests that the programme has the appropriate mix of activities for the target group. Chart 6: Rating – Mix Between Activities Participants Good Fair 7% 1% Very good 16% Excellent 76% Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 The most enjoyable outdoor activities beyond any doubt are those involving water – kayaking and canoeing, speed boating and banana boating. However, kayaking and canoeing are also among the least enjoyed activities along with night activities, rock climbing and orienteering. It should be noted that 79 participants did not feel able to identify a least favourite activity and left this question blank (tables 8 and 9). 20
  21. 21. Table 8: Most Enjoyed Activities Participants Post Test Valid % Kayaking/Canoeing 33 Speed Boat 26 Banana Boating 10 Night Activities 8 Rock Climbing 8 Others 15 N= 227 Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2006/07 Table 9: Least Enjoyed Activities Participants Post Test Valid % Night Activities 23 Kayaking/Canoeing 22 Rock Climbing 9 Orienteering 9 Raft Building 7 Others 15 N= 153 Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 When asked to rate the food, accommodation and other physical components of the programme a similarly positive picture emerges. 99% of participants rated the centre facilities overall as excellent, very good or good (chart 7). 95% of participants rated the accommodation as excellent, very good or good (chart 8). 72% of participants thought that the food was excellent, very good or good (chart 9). 21
  22. 22. Chart 7: Rating – Centre Facilities Participants Good Fair 10% 1% Very good Excellent 31% 58% Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Chart 8: Rating – Accommodation Participants 50 44.9 45 40 33.9 35 30 % 25 20 16.3 15 10 5 4.8 0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 22
  23. 23. Chart 9: Rating – Food and Refreshments Participants 35 29.3 30 26.2 25 21.8 20 % 16.6 15 10 6.1 5 0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Poor Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 In terms of satisfaction with the running of the programme itself, almost 100% of participants rated the organisation of the programme as excellent, very good or good (chart 10). 99% of participants rated the teaching equipment as excellent, very good or good (chart 11). 23
  24. 24. Chart 10: Rating – Programme Organisation Participants 66.5 70 60 50 40 % 30 26 20 7 10 0 0.4 Excellent Very good Good Fair Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Chart 11: Rating – Equipment Participants Equipment Rating 70 60.3 60 50 40 % 29.7 30 20 8.7 10 1.3 0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Source: Participants’ Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 24
  25. 25. Across all measures, participant feedback on content, organisation and resources available on the programme is excellent. It highlights that participants have a high quality experience on the LET programme. Analysis of Results - Teachers The teachers were clear that the outdoor activities component of the programme was essential both in stretching students and providing non-academic possibilities for success. They were complementary about the management of the outdoor activities particularly the way each participant was challenged to the right level without being put off. I think the outdoor activities really challenge them but just the right amount, without putting them off. Things like kayaking and canoeing, I found that some of them were right at their level; any more would have put them off. It was well managed. Male Teacher 1 Despite the high level of fun experienced in the outdoor activities, a number of teachers commented on the value of the classroom based activities also. In addition to the content of classes being obviously valuable, some teachers felt that the fun methods used in class and the relaxed atmosphere provided a positive academic experience for some less academically able participants. Although all children favour the outside activities I think there’s a real value in the classroom activities, a lot of our children would be quite weak and would have special needs. For them, the classroom stuff is great fun – doing jingles and reading out things. One of our pupils wouldn’t ever have read anything out in class at all and she did during class here. I just think that the confidence they get, the non-academic ones, is great. I think it’s important. Female Teacher 1 After the three residentials the programme concluded with a cultural visit to selected outdoor centres. The cultural visits worked well and feedback was positive on both the visit itself and its organisation. As might be expected given the geographic diversity of participating schools, it can be difficult to find a suitable location accessible to all schools and some schools had a long day of travelling. It’s also difficult to ensure that the site used in a new experience for all and some sites are well known to local schools. Some teachers thought that the gap between the end of the programme and the cultural visit allows the high of the programme to dissipate a little. Some other teachers noted the difficult of fitting the cultural visit into the school calendar. However, all teachers felt that the cultural visit was an important part of the programme and acknowledged that choosing a venue and time for the visit is 25
  26. 26. extremely difficult. Their only specific suggestion to overcome these issues was to add the visit on to the end of the last residential. Yet again, feedback on the LET programme staff was very positive and teachers were full of praise for the staff whom they found professional and very engaged with the participants. The involvement of LET staff in all aspects of managing students is an important aspect for teachers deciding to come on the programme. They value the support provided by LET staff and their desire to help teachers resolve any problems that arise. The LET staff were great, they are what would give you confidence to come because they know how to deal with everything! Female Teacher 6 It’s a lot of responsibility for a teacher but the LET staff support you really well. Female Teacher 1 26
  27. 27. 3.3 Personal Development The LET programme has a number of interlinking personal development objectives. The programme aims at an overall level to improve participants’ level of self efficacy. This relates to the confidence and degree of control participants feel over their lives. One of the specific areas targeted for improvement is confidence and skills in the area of communication both oral and written. Finally the programme aims to raise awareness of the next for personal budgeting and to increase perceptions of skill in this area. This section presents pre and post test measures in these areas which are then supplemented by interview quotes from teachers. Analysis of Results - Participants The communication skills component of the programme appears to have been exceptionally successful again in 2007/08. There have been some remarkable increases in the participants’ assessment of their communication skills particularly their oral communication skills. The presentation component of the programme has been very successful with a 24% increase in the number of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are happy to stand up and talk in front of a group of people (table 10). In addition, there has been a 19% increase in the number of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are happy to talk in a group of people their own age (table 11). There is a 26% increase in the number of participants who strongly agree or agree that they are happy speaking out in class (table 12). Finally, there has also been an 8% increase in the number of participants who would strongly agree or agree they are happy writing their ideas on paper (table 13). 27
  28. 28. Table 10: Happy standing up and talking in front of a group of people. Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Strongly agree 6.4 19.6 Agree 36.4 47 Disagree 26.7 16.5 Strongly disagree 10.6 4.8 Don't know 19.9 12.2 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 11: Happy to talk in a group of people my own age Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Strongly agree 19.1 39.6 Agree 51.5 49.6 Disagree 11.9 7.0 Strongly disagree 2.6 0.9 Don't know 14.9 3.0 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 12: Happy speaking out in class Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Strongly agree 13.2 38.9 Agree 42.6 42.4 Disagree 21.3 11.8 Strongly disagree 6 2.6 Don't know 17 4.4 N= 240 115.0 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 13: Happy writing my ideas on paper Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Strongly agree 37.3 53.9 Agree 44.5 35.5 Disagree 7.2 4.8 Strongly disagree 2.1 2.2 Don't know 8.9 3.5 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2006/07 28
  29. 29. There have been good increases in the measures of self efficacy particularly in relation to decision making. 73% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 56% at the start agree or strongly agree that they make good decisions. This is an important skill both personally and professionally at this juncture in their lives and it’s encouraging to see an increase in perceived skill level. Participants entered the programme with relatively high ratings of self efficacy. Nonetheless, there have also been increases in these aspects of self efficacy. 86% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 77% at the start agree or strongly agree that their opinions are as important as other people’s. 83% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 73% at the start agree or strongly agree that they have confidence in themselves. 82% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 78% at the start strongly agree or agree that they feel good about themselves. Finally, a remarkable 92% of the young people on this programme felt at the end that they could achieve what they put their minds to. This was up from 88% at the start (table 14). Table 14: Summary Table –Self Efficacy Strongly Agree and Agree Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent I make good decisions 56 73 My opinions are as important as 77 86 other people’s I have confidence in myself 73 83 I feel good about myself 78 82 I can achieve what I put my mind 88 92 to N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 29
  30. 30. The programme’s objectives to increase awareness of and perceived skill levels in relation to personal finance have been extremely successful. There has been an impressive 35% increase in the number of participants who believe they know a lot about how to manage their money. This is obviously a key life skill for participants which the programme has helped them to significantly develop. 89% of participants entered the programme thinking that it was important to save money, this increased to 96% by the end of the programme (table 15). Table 15: Summary Table –Personal Budgeting and Finance Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent It’s important to save money 89 96 I know a lot about how to manage 29 64 my money N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Finally, the participant’s outlook for their academic future has improved also over the course of the programme largely by decreasing uncertainly. 98% of participants at the end of the programme compared with 93% at the start agree that a school education is important to their future (table 16). The percentage who think that they will get some educational qualifications has increased from 63% to 71% (table 17). Table 16: Summary Table – Do you think a school education is important to your future? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 92.9 97.8 No 2.9 .4 Don't know 4.2 1.7 N= 240 232 Source: Participants Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 17: Summary Table – Do you think that you will get any educational qualifications? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 63 71.1 No 2.5 2.2 Don't know 34.5 26.7 N= 240 232 Source: Participants Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 30
  31. 31. Analysis of Results - Teachers All of the teachers agreed that they had observed changes in the confidence level and verbal communication skills of participants. These improvements in confidence added to the secure environment of the programme have helped particularly shy participants to build friendships and become more outgoing. Some teachers observed that this confidence and willingness to mix had transferred back to school. One of our girls was very shy and it was great to see her get up and talk in front of people and make new friends that she’s stayed in contact with; she’s benefited immensely from it, very much so. When she came back from LET she was completely changed, more outgoing and would talk more. You can see that they have all come on in their communication abilities. Male Teacher 1 We have one girl who cried because she was away from home and missed her Mummy and over the course of three residentials, I saw a growth in confidence in her and I actually see it now back in school and how she relates better even within her own year group. She was a very quiet girl to begin with and now I can see the change, see her mixing and again I think the indoor activities of getting up and speaking certainly helped her. Female Teacher 3 I can see the benefits transferring back to school life, their attitude to school, their involvement in school life even their relationship with me - all are different, so I think it’s a very positive experience. They see you as being more approachable. I had one wee girl who was in a class that was a bit unsettled and the positive attitude she brought back having been involved on the programme influenced the class and very helpful Female Teacher 3 Teachers attributed the personal development improvements to the general boost in self esteem that comes with being selected for the programme and the success that results from the challenges incorporated into the programme. I think it increases their sense of self worth, they’re one of ten that’s been chosen from the school and they think ‘wow, this is something special and this is an opportunity for me to be me’. They’re not up against the classmates they already know, they’re meeting people from other schools and that gives them a fresh start. Also when they do new activities, they get a chance to be recognised for being good at something. Female Teacher 5 31
  32. 32. Being ‘the chosen’ works for their confidence. Female Teacher 4 They’re taken out of their comfort zone and when that works they get more confidence. Male Teacher 2 The successes and achievements that occur on the programme are unusual for some participants and have a durable effect of boosting confidence. I think every child I took had some sort of achievement, some sort of success over the duration of the programme and big or small they’ve all had that experience which is a boost in itself. It might be a tiny thing but they all have something. Female Teacher 4 Predicting the impact of LET on the personal development of troublesome students can be difficult to judge at the selection stage and is hard to evaluate. For some troublesome students the programme does not significantly change behaviour. However, for others, participation on the LET programme stimulates a shift in attitude, behaviour and outcomes. We picked one troublesome child who subsequently got suspended in school and couldn’t come, that was a disappointment. However, we had two other [troublesome kids] who behaved much better on LET than at school and who were better behaved when they got back to school. One even won a prize on the cultural visit. Female Teacher 7 32
  33. 33. 3.3 Business and Enterprise This section of the report evaluates the programme’s objective to increase awareness of the importance of business to the local community and country as well as the entrepreneurial option. It also examines attitudes to business and business start-up. Significant changes in awareness and attitudes before and after the programme will be highlighted. In addition, findings from interviews with teachers will be presented. Analysis of Results - Participants Participants entered the programme with a fairly high awareness of the importance of business to the local country. Nonetheless this awareness did increase over the duration of the programme from 77% to 82%. However, at the start of the programme just 68% of participants thought that business was important to their local community increasing to 86% by the end (table 18). Table 18: Summary Table – Importance of Business Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid Percent Valid Percent Business is important to local 68 86 community Business is important to local 77 82 county N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 The programme certainly affected participants’ consideration of business and its potential appeal for them in later life. There was an 11% increase in the number of participants who said they had an interest in business and a 16% decrease in those who said they weren’t interested in business. However, this increased positive attitude towards business generally did not greatly change participant’s ability to see themselves working in business. Perhaps it is difficult for participants at this young age to have a clear vision of their professional futures. Table 19: Summary Table – Do you have an interest in business? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 43.8 54.3 No 38.8 22.6 Don't know 17.5 23.0 N= 240 232 Source: Participants Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 33
  34. 34. Table 20: Summary Table – Can you see yourself working in business? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 53.2 51.3 No 13.5 13.8 Don't know 33.3 34.9 N= 240 232 Source: Participants Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 The programme addresses the issue of enterprise and provides participants with an opportunity to start a small business. There was an increase in the percentage who felt they would enjoy starting a business. Following their experience on the programme 47% compared with 38% at the start felt they would love to start a business (table 22). Again however, this increase in positive attitude towards business start-up did not make it any more likely that participants could see themselves personally starting their own business (table 21). Table 21: Summary Table – Can you see yourself starting your own business in the future? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 37.5 34.5 No 22.9 21.6 Don't know 39.6 44.0 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 22: Summary Table – How much would you enjoy starting a business in the future? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % I'd love it 37.7 46.6 I'd enjoy it a bit 37.2 33.6 I wouldn't enjoy it that much 7.5 5.2 I'd hate it 1.3 2.2 I don't know 16.3 12.5 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 34
  35. 35. Analysis of Results - Teachers The business and enterprise dimension of the programme covers personal budgeting and money management to awareness of business and business start-up. The feedback from teachers on this part of the programme was very positive. They felt that the part of the programme opens students’ eyes and makes them more alert and interested in business topics later on in their lives. I think it’s great that they are being introduced to the world of work so soon, I’m a guidance counsellor and I see sixth years who say they don’t want to do business and they have no understanding of exactly what the world of business is, the diversity of jobs and positions available. The students on the LET programme have a better understanding of it as a career and also how dynamic business is. Female Teacher 4 I don’t think you can ever say it’s too young to talk about business start up especially now with the focus on employability. Young kids need to have access to lots of ideas about what they can do in the future. If you leave it too late, they already have ideas developed without thinking all their options through. Female Teacher 7 It also gives an advantage to those who pursue business or enterprise studies later on in school. I teach business studies and a lot of those who went on the LET programme previously went on to pick business studies so that interest is embedded in them, it’s great to see them picking it up on the LET programme. Male Teacher 2 It certainly gives those who take business studies an advantage. Female Teacher 1 When we had Young Enterprise in to work with other kids in the year on enterprise, we found the LET kids were taking over, they knew what they were at even after only just two residentials. Female Teacher 5 The enterprise part of the programme was deemed to be very successful both in raising awareness but also in accessing skills that students may not have previously used or known about. The participant’s satisfaction with their products was also evident and for some academically weak students created an unusual opportunity to be proud of their performance. 35
  36. 36. The students have a huge amount of pride in their products. We had one child who got back from the programme and went around to nearly every teacher showing what he had made, he was just so proud of it, it was brilliant for him. Female Teacher 4 It’s also worth noting that for at least one participant the programme created an immediate entrepreneurial response. I’ve one wee lad who bought a box of pens and brought them into class because people always forget their pens and he sold them! That’s entrepreneurial isn’t it? He picked up on that and I think it’s great. Female Teacher 1 3.4 Peace and Reconciliation This section evaluates the programme’s objective to sustain peace and reconciliation by breaking the cycle of hostility. Using both pre and post test questionnaires, changes in knowledge of and attitudes towards those of other religions will be compared before and after the programme. Evidence will also be presented from a focus group with teachers. Analysis of Results - Participants The programme has been extremely successful in facilitating the development of friendships between those from different religions as 86% of participants after the programme compared with 63% at the start said that they had friends from a different religion (table 21). This might suggest that the programme has been the catalyst for friendships across religious boundaries. Perhaps their positive experience on the LET programme is responsible for the small 5% increase in participants who believe that people from different religions should go to school together (table 22). Table 23: Summary Table – I Have Friends From a Different Religion Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 62.9 85.8 No 19.8 6.5 Don't know 17.3 7.8 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 36
  37. 37. Table 24: Summary Table – Do you Think People from Different Religions Should go to School Together? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 59.8 64.6 No 13.0 14.0 Don't know 27.2 21.4 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 However, the practicalities of mixing with those from other religions outside of the programme, causes the participants some pause for thought. There was just a 4% increase in the numbers who would personally like to go to school with those from other religions. However, there was a 4% increase in the numbers who thought they already were in school with people from other religions (table 23). This result is hard to interpret as the participants have not moved school over the duration of the programme. Perhaps they are more aware of those from other religions in their school or maybe they consider the LET experience as part of going to school. There were very small increases in openness to connections with those from other religions. After the programme, 79% of participants said they would not mind being taught by a teacher of a different religion, this compares with 75% at the start of the programme (table 24). The percentage who would not mind if a relative were to marry someone from a different religion remained at 70% (table 25). Table 25: Summary Table – Would you Personally Like to Go to School with People from a Different Religion? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % Yes 31.9 35.8 No 11.8 11.8 Don't know 29.8 21.8 I already do 26.5 30.6 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 37
  38. 38. Table 26: Summary Table - Would you mind if a teacher of another religion were to teach you? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % I would mind a lot 2.1 3.9 I would mind a little 13.9 9.9 I wouldn't mind 75.2 79.3 I don't know 8.8 6.9 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Table 27: Summary Table -Would you mind if a relative were to marry someone of a different religion? Participants Pre Test Post Test Valid % Valid % I would mind a lot 3.8 6.0 I would mind a little 16.0 12.1 I wouldn't mind 69.7 69.8 I don't know 10.5 12.1 N= 240 232 Source: Participants’ Pre and Post Test Questionnaires LET Programme 2007/08 Analysis of Results - Teachers The LET programme brings together children from different religious, cultural and social backgrounds. Although younger children to not seem as concerned with differences between people, the way the LET programme allows participants, teachers and staff to discuss any cultural and religious issues in a normal setting was highlighted as a benefit of the programme. They learn a lot about different background, they’re not scared of it because of their age but they learn about it in a good way, just about the way things are done in different schools even. Female Teacher 5 The only concern really at the start in terms of people’s background was what people are wearing, like football jerseys and that kind of thing. But it didn’t become a big issue. Female Teacher 1 38
  39. 39. Interestingly, the teachers saw this benefit not just in relation to bringing those from different religious backgrounds together but also in giving shy kids an entirely different social set to mix in. At that age some kids do have difficulty mixing with their peers and getting to meet new people can help with that. Female Teacher 4 Meeting other people is part of what makes it work. They get a new perspective and get friendly with new people; it just wouldn’t work as well if each school did the LET programme on its own. Male Teacher 1 As in previous years, the role of the programme in facilitating cross community and cross border friendships was affirmed. In some cases these friendships appear to be enduring and are sustained using text messages and social gatherings. Some of the kids I brought on this programme a few years ago are still in touch with each other, some of them even came to each other’s formals so the benefits are lasting. Female Teacher 6 39
  40. 40. 4. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS This evaluation report has presented the findings from a sample of participants and teachers on the LET programme 2007/2008. Selected quotes from teachers have been used to supplement and contextualise the aggregate quantitative results of questionnaire data collected from the participants. The report itself is structured into four parts. The first section introduced the programme and briefly outlined the objectives, content and delivery methods used. The parameters and limitations of this report were also highlighted. The second section explains the methodology strategy used for the stakeholder groups. The third section of the report presents and analyses the evaluation findings. This part of the report was subdivided into a profile of those participating in the evaluation and four thematic sub-sections, which relate directly to the programme’s objectives. Finally, this section summarises the report and draws some conclusions. Feedback on the course content and physical environment was extremely positive. Clearly participants enjoyed the programme and results indicate that the programme content and mix of activities are appropriate for the cohort group. Feedback on the organisation of the programme, centre facilities, accommodation, food and teaching equipment were all positive. Across all measures, participant feedback on content, organisation and resources available on the programme is excellent. The teachers were very positive about the programme organisation and delivery and the mix of indoor and outdoor activities. They were very complimentary about LET staff whose professionalism and support they appreciated. These results highlight the high quality experience that participants and teachers have had on the LET programme. The personal development theme is explored in the next sub-section of the analysis. The LET programme has a number of interlinking personal development objectives. One of the specific areas targeted for improvement is confidence and skills in the area of communication both oral and written. Evidence from both participants and teachers demonstrates that the communication skills component of the programme has been remarkably successful. There have been significant improvements in the participants’ assessment of their skill and confidence speaking in front of others. The programme also aims to raise awareness and ability in the key life skill of personal financial management. There has been a good increase in the participants’ perception of their skill level in this area. There have also been increases in participants’ overall confidence and belief in their ability to make decisions. Teachers observed these changes emerging over the course of the programme and in many changes have seen these personal development changes impact positively on participants’ behaviour back at school. These positive results suggest that the programme is meeting its objective to facilitate and optimise the personal development of participants. 40
  41. 41. The topic of business and enterprise is covered on this programme using a range of innovative approaches developed by the organisers. The business start-up section of the programme continues to be popular and offers participants a chance to develop new skills and a product they can be proud of. The programme achieved a number of attitude changes in relation to business and enterprise. Firstly, participants’ interest in business generally increased and they became more aware of the importance of business to their local community. Secondly, having been involved in business start-up on the programme, participants were more likely to believe they would enjoy starting their own business. Teachers also noticed a significant increase in business interest but noted that the participants are still young and it may be a few years before these general attitude changes translate into specific choices about their futures. These are positive results and suggest that the programme has been successful in increasing awareness about business and enterprise options and changing attitudes towards these topics. Unlike the other components of the programme, the objective to promote peace and reconciliation is not addressed directly in classroom discussions. Participants are put into mixed religious and gender groups and must work together on classroom and outdoor based activities. The programme has been extremely successful in facilitating the development of friendships between those from different religions and backgrounds. Teachers highlighted the value of the programme in broadening the participants’ horizons. This benefit accrued from interacting with children from different cultural and social backgrounds as well as those from different religious backgrounds. Friendships were formed through the programme and sustained through the use of text messages and social gatherings. These results are extremely positive and indicate that the programme is meeting its objectives of promoting peace and reconciliation by bringing together young people from different traditions. In conclusion, this report presents a holistic perspective of the LET programme by exploring the views of central stakeholder groups. Based on research evidence for the year 2007/2008, the programme appears to be meeting its objectives at all levels. 41

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