From August 2007 to early 2010, the NETschool program was evaluated by Di Cox from the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences La Trobe University Bendigo.
The key findings of the research demonstrated –
- That NETschool meets the intensive educational support needs of disengaged youth utilising a positive (team-based) learning culture that focuses on developing personal and interpersonal skills (accepting and supporting each other).
- That for this cohort, learning to trust and being trusted was central to their relationship with their mentor. This relationship is critical to learner’s improved self-esteem and sense of connection to others.
- Small group sizes are more conducive to providing a supportive environment (one mentor to ten learners).
- Learners often successfully re-engage in mainstream education, training and/or employment. Learners in all groups identified the ‘learn at your own pace’ approach and ‘learn what is relevant’ as key to their successful re-engagement.