In brief

School of Hard Knocks designed the programme specifically a) to prevent students at risk of permanent exclusion from leaving mainstream education and b) to help students who were struggling with normal schooling. The intervention takes place in school time but outside a classroom and it uses sport and mentoring to improve behaviour, rather than more traditional educational methods.

The full programme runs for three years, working with the same staff and children every week. Coach-mentors are supported by behavioural specialists and build strong bonds with participants through consistent contact every week of the school year.

Problem to be tackled

The programme aims at pupils between the age of 13 and 16, who have been subject to exclusion in the past, are educationally disengaged or face possible permanent exclusion. The main reason for permanent exclusion is persistent disruptive behaviour, which accounts for a third of all exclusions, further reasons are low confidence, poor self control, difficulties with social cohesion and problems communicating effectively.