Improve retention – TLC support tracker

When trying to identify learners who are at risk of becoming NEET, there are a number of areas which can give clues to their susceptibility to withdraw. We all know the obvious ones ie wrong course, wrong grades, poor behaviour. But thinking through all the other potential barriers to success you should include many other invisible complexities of a young person’s life.

The Traffic Light Control form (or Tender Loving Care, as we liked to call it) can be used as an indicator of a student’s likelihood for absences and eventual non-attendance or withdrawal.

By using this as a guide, you can spot the student who is ‘at risk’ and put in place measures to improve their chances.

For example, you could provide a 1-1 support session each week encompassing

  • Goal Setting
  • Study  Support
  • Counselling (etc.)


This could continue into at least the second term of the student’s enrolment at college, thus building their confidence and creating a proper sense of belonging. **

For ‘first lesson’ lateness, an example would be to take a real interest in their methods of transport (for long journeys) and pick out the potential hazards around this. Help the student to pre-empt these and actively encourage good punctuality with breakfast tokens (perhaps).

In the case of through-the-day truanting, use some method to check that there are no instances of bullying/learning difficulties/patterns of other behaviour which are preventing the student from feeling secure in their attendance at these classes. In my experience this might involve a team approach ie friendly observations of each other’s classes – where the student is present – to take a fresh look at their interaction with others. I know from first-hand involvement that someone else’s judgment can provide more understanding than we might comprehend.

Time spent on interventions will be recouped many times over with the calmer and more successful student in your class.

Here’s a copy of the TLC-TRACKING-SHEET.

** This support ought to be provided via ALS – whether in the form of a student mentor or behavioural support assistant – but not necessarily by a personal tutor (as the PT would not have an hour each week).