Activity and Learning Agreement Pilots - Programme Theory Evaluation (Working Paper 4)

Learning Agreement Provision

Page R, Johnson C, Munro M | Report RR121 | Department for Children, Schools and Families | Jun 2009

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The Learning Agreements Pilots (LAP) were launched in April 2006 in eight areas of England to run for two years. LAP was an initiative targeted at young people aged 16 to 17 who were working but not engaged in any accredited training, ie in jobs without training (JWT).

A Learning Agreement outlined the accredited training that the young person would undertake and was drawn up between a Connexions Personal Adviser, the young person and their employer. It also outlined what financial incentive, if any, the young person (or their employer) could receive.

The objectives of the evaluation were to:

  • test the effectiveness of the LAP approach for re-engagement
  • monitor and understand how LAP were managed and implemented and to highlight good practice
  • understand what worked (or not) within the pilots: to understand how young people responded to the initiatives, agreements and brokerage and to understand for whom, and in what circumstances the theories behind the programme had worked.

This programme theory evaluation utilised a realist evaluation method which focused on identifying and testing some of the key ‘theories’ that underlie the LAP policy to explore which components of the policy worked or not.