City Year UK is a youth social action charity which challenges 18 to 25-year-olds to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time voluntary service. As mentors, tutors and role models in schools, they support pupils growing up in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK.
What CSAIF funded:
The fund was used to review and revise the training provided to the full-time volunteers who undertake service in schools. In-house education experts were recruited and an external process evaluation of the training was commission to test the results of the training overhaul. View the impact evaluation.
Level on Standards: Level 2 - you capture data that shows positive change, but you cannot confirm you caused this.
Aim: City Year’s evaluation aimed to better understand the impact of their Whole School Whole Child initiative on both pupils and corps members (i.e. volunteers).
Why this Level:
City Year have delivered an evaluation that suggests a positive change over time for the people that it supports, using appropriate tools. The rate of attrition for the pupils is quite high (more than 50%), which means we cannot be confident that those findings are representative of all City Year pupils. However, the sample size at follow-up is still quite high (129), and the attrition rate for corps members is low enough for us to be confident in the representativeness of those findings.
Progress: City Year have advanced from Level 1 to Level 2 on the Standards of Evidence, reflecting the fact that they are collecting pre-and-post data in a more thorough and consistent manner. Furthermore, this data collection is embedded sustainably within the organisation, and a process evaluation delivered by Renaisi has helped City Year to refine its service and improve its quality.
Lessons learned: Since the CSAIF grant, City Year has reviewed the survey techniques and structures used in order to link the outcomes of the Theory of Change more explicitly with the questions asked of pupils and volunteers. The Renasi evaluation led to a review of in-school management practices in order to improve the school’s understanding of the City Year partnership and create more efficient data collection processes.
Next steps: City Year will undertake a review of their Theories of Change to ensure that the programme continues to pursue clear and salient outcomes. Work is being undertaken to streamline delivery and evaluation of individual components.