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 Talk About Talk Secondary blog: Evaluation baseline

The pilot of the latest I CAN project for secondary schools, Talk About Talk Secondary, is now well underway.

Talk About Talk Secondary is a programme that will train and support young people with poor communication to deliver workshops about communication difficulties to local employers. And in delivering these workshops, we expect young people’s communication skills to improve.

Of course, as well as actually delivering the project in schools it’s important for us to measure its impact, so the evaluation has also  started. Rachael Black, I CAN’s monitoring and evaluation coordinator is leading the evaluation of the project. Here she gives an update of some of the things that have been going on:

Employees from local businesses will be invited to attend workshops presented by the young people at the schools. The evaluation form they will complete afterwards will ask them to explain how attending the workshop will change their practice. They will also be contacted by phone a few weeks after when we can ask them whether they actually did what they intended to do!

I CAN staff also get to take part in the evaluation – we’re asking them to complete a survey every 3 months, rating their knowledge in, amongst other things, delivering programmes in secondary schools. This is just another way of ensuring that what we develop really works in schools. Those staff involved in the pilot will also keep learning logs.

We are hoping that by gathering all this evidence we will be able to show very clearly that Talk About Talk Secondary has had an impact and how it has had an impact.

As part of the project, we want to measure how much more prepared young people are for the world of work in terms of their communication skills. Not surprisingly, we couldn’t find a measure for this! So we’re designing our own…..we know that employers look for good communication skills in young people but wanted to find out which communication skills they value most.

We’ve asked 50 employers to complete a really short survey and got some interesting results which are forming the basis for our ‘work readiness tool’. However we would love to get more responses! It is a very short questionnaire, so if you are in contact with anyone who employs young people – a small or large business – please can you send this link through to them and ask them to complete it:

I will be back again to update you on how our evaluation is progressing and what our data is telling us about the programme.

Maxine Burns,

I CAN’s Lead Communication Advisor (Youth Programmes)

To find out more about Talk About Talk Secondary, please visit our website.