Teachers have positive impact on those in alternative provisions


Students in alternative provisions have a strong sense of purpose when compared to those in mainstream education, thanks to teachers who have been able to have a positive effect on their self-esteem, a new report claims.

The University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues created the report, which sought the opinions of 3,250 pupils in both non-mainstream – including pupil-referral units – and mainstream educational settings.

Findings show that 27.4% of those in non-mainstream education gave a positive response when asked about their life purpose, just over 3% more than the number of those in mainstream schools.

Teachers have played a huge role in giving those in non-mainstream education a strong sense of purpose according to the report, where many have been able to encourage students to lead a ‘good’ life.

Those who compiled the report believe that the results show placing students into alternative provision will not have a negative effect on the purpose of their life.

In terms of pupils in alternative provision, it is those who are closest to them, and teachers, in particular, that can have the biggest impact on their perception of themselves and self-esteem.

Students were found to really value teachers who are able to speak to them on the same level, while also providing support and encouragement.

Aidan Thompson, director of strategy and integration at the Jubilee Centre, said: “Young people from marginalised backgrounds don’t see their circumstances as being disadvantageous to their sense of purpose.”

The report concluded that teachers within non-mainstream settings should allow for the right amount of time and space to develop the character of students.