is an online research project looking at ways of re-engaging young people of school age back into learning.

These young people have been out of the more traditional educational systems for a variety of personal and logistical reasons.

They include the phobic, ill, disaffected, sick, pregnant and the excluded. is specifically aimed at those for whom traditional alternatives such as home tutoring have not worked.

During its first phase, established a virtual community of 100 young people who were given the opportunity to develop their self-esteem and be reintroduced to learning. This was achieved through the support of mentors, buddies, experts and the use of new technology.

17 local authorities have turned to Notschool and over 1500 children have been through Notschool’s virtual doors. The success of exceeded all expectations and is now in it’s third phase. It is being rolled out to Education Authorities across the UK and overseas, creating a multinational and supportive learning community.

The children involved are known as researchers. Each is given a Macintosh computer, a printer, a digital camera and an internet connection usually the fastest broadband connection available in the area (whether it be ADSL or ISDN) with 24/7 connection. This means that the researcher and their family can access the internet as much as they like at no cost.

The reserchers are free to choose there own subjects and learning patterns. They are supported by on-line mentors and subject experts. is part of TheCademy, a charity working towards inclusion.

Further information

  • Visit the website
  • Download the 2005 report or the 2005 evaluation
  • Listen to the founder, Professor Stephen Heppell, talk to Libby Purves on the BBC Radio 4 programme the Learning Curve. This includes a fascinating interview with one of the researchers, Carl Hamilton from Bolton who describes notschool as ’school heaven’.
  • If you are a Local Education Authority, Education Action Zone or simliar, contact If you are a parent, contact your Local Education Authority, or email and notschool will acknowledge your query and forward it to your Local Education Authority.

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