Who are we?
Dallagilo RugbyWorks, established in 2009 by England rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio, helps young people tackle life in a positive way. Our programme RugbyWorks, uses rugby to transform the aspirations of young people - 14 to 17 year olds at increased risk of long-term unemployment, criminality and imprisonment. We deliver an intensive, long-term skills development programme based on rugby, through which we aim to get teenagers outside of mainstream education into sustained education, employment or training.
What do we do and why?
RugbyWorks engages teenagers who have been permanently excluded from mainstream education and enrolled in Alternative Provision schools through the sport of rugby. This target population comes from chaotic backgrounds with high levels of social risk factors such as troubled families, criminality and unemployment. They have much lower success rates in education and employment compared to pupils from mainstream schools. RugbyWorks is designed to help these young people onto a positive pathway to achieve sustained education, employment or training with a particular focus on exposing them to various vocational opportunities.
Why do we do this? Because we know there are a huge range of factors leading to students being excluded from mainstream education. And, for whatever that reason, we don’t believe that should signal exclusion from mainstream society too.
Alternative Provision (AP) secondary schools, aim to support young people who have been failed by the mainstream education system as their needs are difficult to meet within conventional school settings. According to the 2011 UK Census, an estimated 37,500 pupils are excluded from mainstream schools annually due to
disruptive behaviours that the schools cannot manage. Of these 37,500, approximately 84% are fixed term exclusions with an aim of reintegration into mainstream schools. The remaining 16% (6,000) are permanent exclusions, where re-entry is not an option. For these young people, AP is the only route to achieving a secondary school level education and a positive progression to further education or employment.
Those referred to AP often come from disrupted homes and commonly experience a range of severe risk factors; drinking, drugs, mental health issues, domestic violence and family breakdown. There is a low expectation of, or accountability for, the future of these young people. Poor academic attainment is the unsurprising result, with just 1.4% of pupils enrolled in AP nationally achieving 5 A*-C grade GCSE’s. This compares to 53% of those in mainstream education. Failure to improve outcome for this population segment comes with a high societal cost: a staggering 90% of young people in the youth justice system were excluded from school.
The cost of housing one individual in a young offenders institute is approximately £200,000 per year. And in extreme cases of educational and social disengagement, the estimated lifetime cost can reach £3 million per person. It costs the charity £1,500 per year to support a young person
from the AP system through our programme.
What we are doing about it
RugbyWorks supports young people into sustained education, employment or training through a three-stage journey of:
Engagement – minimising the impact of their past
Integration – making better decisions in the present, and
Achievement – planning to ensure a long term successful future.
Through RugbyWorks, we give young people the practical support, experience and ability to help them believe and invest in the possibility of a better future. Often for the very first time. We work with those in years 10 and 11 and deliver the programme as a free service in our partner AP schools. When the young people have left the AP at the end of year 11, a year of 1:1 mentoring follows as they are supported to achieve a sustained position in further education, employment or
We work very closely with the schools and our impressive network of employers significantly enhances the often weak and under-resourced career provision available to our teenagers. But we don’t expect change to happen overnight. We build long term relationships with small groups of 8-10 young people per school who get to know us over 30 weeks per year for a period of three years. Whilst we use rugby to draw in the young people, we strongly intend the rugby sessions to
develop their soft skills, increase their engagement with the school and guide them onto a suitable career path. We recognise the important, transformative role that the coach-participant relationship takes on and as such, our coaches are deeply embedded in the school community. We pride ourselves on this relationship and see it as a key catalyst changing the future prospects of each young person.
Where we are
We are currently working in Alternative Provision schools in London, South Wales, North West, the South West, East Midlands and Newcastle. We work with approximately 8-10 young people per school.
One of Lawrence Dallaglio’s great statements is “you are what you are exposed to”, and this is something we strongly believe. We endeavor to expose them to new experiences, tap in to their aspirations and guide them down the path to realise them; often breaking the family cycle of unemployment and crime.