London Education and Inclusion Project (LEIP) – I CAN with Catch22 by Glenn Major, I CAN Communication Advisor
London Education and Inclusion Project (LEIP) is a collaborative project between the University of Cambridge, the Greater London Authority (GLA), the educational charity Catch22 and I CAN. The project aims to learn what works best for young people in Years 9 and 10 with academic difficulties and challenging behaviour who are at a high risk of exclusion.
40 secondary schools in London are involved: 20 as controls and 20 receiving the intervention, so a full Randomized Control Trial (RCT) – gold standard research. Participating young people will attend a 12-week group-work programme delivered by Catch22 staff trained by I CAN. Alongside this, each student will also receive an allocated Catch22 keyworker, who will work with them individually throughout the 12 week period.
I CAN has several roles in this project. We’ve worked with Catch22 colleagues to develop the 12-week course so it focuses on developing social, emotional and communication skills. I CAN also provides Catch22 key workers with training about why language difficulties and behaviour problems often co-occur, as well as ongoing support to become more confident identifying and supporting hidden communication needs. This builds on research suggesting that both academic problems and challenging behaviour are associated with language and communication difficulties.
We began the first of two cycles of the course on Monday 14th October and the I CAN team is really excited about how all the careful planning will translate into measurable, beneficial outcomes for the young people involved.
To complement this, I CAN will also be providing its successful Behaviour Talks project to staff in the same schools who are involved with managing behaviour and inclusion. Participants receive initial training about why language difficulties and behaviour problems often co-occur and simple strategies that help. Then the I CAN Communication Advisor plans with staff to introduce particular strategies and ways to measure progress, including pupil voice. Later in the academic year we follow this stage with ‘after’ measures and advice about translating what has worked well into sustainable classroom practice.
This is a ground breaking project and we’ll be eagerly anticipating Cambridge University’s analysis of the resulting data with the expectation that it has led to meaningful changes for these young people’s engagement with school.