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Step Ahead - UPOSS

The appointment of a transition worker to support Post 16 Step Ahead pupils onto learning pathways.

Step Ahead

Aim of Project

To improve the transition process for pupils moving from Step-Ahead Education Centre to Gower College Swansea (GCS), in order to improve recruitment and retention on courses at GCS . This to be achieved by the appointment of a transition worker.

Historically, the recruitment and especially retention of pupils on courses at GCS after leaving Step-Ahead has had mixed success with many dropping out of GCS before the end of the first term. The2013 cohort of Step-Ahead leavers (17 pupils) had all indicated that an FE placement was their preferred option with no leavers being interested in a training placement.


  • Appointment of a transition worker for one academic year to work with 17 Step-Ahead pupils that are to transfer to FE. 
  • Transition worker to support pupils by working with CWW advisor to help them choose FE courses appropriate for their needs and abilities 
  • Transition worker to help pupils complete applications to FE through the UCAS Progress on-line process 
  • Transition worker to link with GCS pastoral staff to share information on pupils individual needs 
  • Transition worker to take pupils individually and in small groups to visit GCS campus to help address pupils anxiety regarding the size of building, other students, facilities and transport arrangements 
  • Transition worker to monitor pupils' applications through UCAS progress, link with pupils' parents and carers and accompany pupils to their interviews 
  • Head of Centre to attend regular meetings of the operational group and develop network links to other participants in the UPOSS Swansea project. 
  • Head of Centre to attend and participate in termly STF and SENCO meetings 
  • Step-Ahead pupils, transition worker and Head of Centre to participate in the dissemination event at the end of the project 
  • GCS pastoral staff to visit Step-Ahead to introduce themselves, explain their role in transition and outline the support available to pupils at GCS


  • GCS 
  • Parents and carers 
  • Pupils 
  • LA Inclusion advisory team 
  • Careers Wales Advisors 
  • Step-Ahead transition worker and Head of Centre


  • All Step-Ahead leavers 2013 have applied for and been accepted onto, appropriate courses at GCS 
  • GCS staff have gained more knowledge of the issues that pupils with anxiety disorders face when making the transition to GCS 
  • All Step-Ahead leavers have made informal visits to the relevant GCS campus and have greatly reduced anxiety about the transition in September 
  • All Step-Ahead leavers are now familiar with GCS pastoral staff and the support that is available to them when they enrol and start at GCS in September 
  • The interview process for Step-Ahead pupils has been much more effective with all interviewees happy to proceed with their applications. 
  • Good network links have been developed with project partners 
  • The chance of Step-Ahead leavers becoming NEET due to problems with recruitment and retention on courses at GCS has been greatly reduced 
  • Effective links have now been made enabling sustainability of the improved transition process after the project has finished


Further Activity

  • Continue participating in monitoring visits and meetings to maintain communication and the positive impact so far 
  • Plan and participate in the dissemination event 
  • Sustain links after cessation of project 
  • Arrange 'Alumni' type events at Step-Ahead for 2013 leavers to meet the next cohort of leavers to help dispel anxiety for the next cohort 
  • Keep in touch with 2013 leavers with weekly telephone communication for the first term

Evidence and Data

  • Appointment of transition worker (available to be interviewed) 
  • Project monitoring forms and end of term project report forms 
  • Transition worker case records and notes 
  • Discussions with pupils and parents 
  • Discussion with GCS staff

If you require access to the Step Ahead presentation please contact Simon Evans at Step Ahead Education Centre directly on Tel: 01792 584435.

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