PRACTICE (Prospects, Research, Achievement, Competence, Training, Improvement, Challenges and Employment) is a two year Erasmus+ funded project between Houchsauerlandkreis (HSK) in Germany and West Lothian which focuses on young people who are of risk of not securing sustainable employment, or a positive destination, after completing their time at school. This group includes students with Additional Support Needs including those with social, emotional and behavioural needs (including migrants and refugees in HSK).
The partnership promotes innovation and exchange through strategic partnerships in the field of school education.
Scottish partners involved in the project include West Lothian Council, West Lothian College, Pinewood School and The Co-operative Education Trust Scotland (CETS).
Businesses and organisations such as Skills Development Scotland, ARC Scotland, Supported Employment Service, Enable, #JunX10n, West Lothian Twinning Committee, Job Centre+, IWS, The Larder, Signpost, Boghall Community Cafe and Cedarbank School were all in attendance at the 'PRACTICE Makes Perfect' event which showcased the partnership and explained the journey to date.
Funding for the two year project has been used to:
• Share best practice between HSK and West Lothian
• Provide a transnational experience for ASN pupils at Pinewood School (and SEBN pupils identified in Germany).
• Provide transnational work shadowing for HSK staff, Pinewood School staff and West Lothian College staff
• Pilot alternative vocational experiences for ASN pupils attending Pinewood School
• Consider additional college experiences/ accredited courses for ASN pupils
• Provide a range of work inspiration activities for our ASN pupils (visits, work placements etc)
• Outputs - West Lothian will produce a 'Transition Passport', and HSK will produce a diagnostic tool and 'mini certificate'
West Lothian Council, Head of Education, James Cameron said: "This innovative project has provided a great opportunity for our pupils to experience a different culture and environment which can only help them grow as individuals. Additionally we have had the valuable chance to learn from our colleagues in Germany and can apply this into our own practices. Overall it has been a brilliant experience and it won't be too long before we can welcome them back to West Lothian."
Executive Councillor for Education David Dodds said: "This is a fantastic ERASMUS+ funded project that could only benefit our young people as they seek to move into positive destinations upon leaving school. We have to thank our German colleagues for their hospitality in hosting our young people and staff during their visits and also for sharing their work with us. Hopefully this is not the end of this project and something similar can continue to take place in the future."