A second chance to learn for Wirral’s ‘problem’ youngsters
Young people from Wirral are being given a second chance to learn through our new school initiative in the borough.
In classrooms at The Hive Youth Zone in Birkenhead, vulnerable, disadvantaged and disengaged children are being given an alternative to conventional education along with opportunities to gain essential life skills leading to employment.
The first of a series of our 12-week programmes have begun at The Hive, which provides alternative education for young people aged between 13 and 16 who struggle with mainstream education and have been excluded from school. Their exclusions could have been for a whole variety of reasons ranging from behavioural and emotional issues to long-term illness.
However, The Hive, the new £6m youth centre in the heart of Birkenhead, is helping to open up a new world of opportunities for the 13 young people currently on the programme, all of whom have been referred to Progress Schools by Wirral Council.
Tutors, as well as coaching pupils through GCSE English, maths and IT, will be introducing them to vocational subjects that could lead to an interest in further education or prepare them for work in areas where there are real jobs in sectors such as health and social care, call centres, sport and fitness. They can also use the facilities at The Hive which include a sports hall, skate park, climbing wall, boxing gym and fitness suite.
Progress Schools chief executive James Madine said:
“Incidence of exclusion from school is seen to be consistently higher in areas of economic deprivation. That’s why we are so delighted to be having this education partnership with The Hive which is doing so much to change the lives of young people living in an area which has the second highest concentration of unemployment in disadvantaged communities in England.
“An excluded child is likely to be seen by other schools as a source of trouble and many schools are unwilling to take on ‘problem’ pupils. These are the issues we are aiming to address to make sure exclusion from school is not an exclusion from a good education and that lack of opportunity is no excuse to leave them on the education scrapheap.”
Senior tutor Dave Campbell added:
“These young people are here with us because they have somehow lost their way. A lot of them have been told they are not going to amount to much and that they’ve not got a lot in store for the future.
“We’re coaching them in English, maths and IT and helping them to gain some essential life skills.
“Over the 12 weeks of the programme, we’ll be addressing issues of their behaviour and school attendance and our main task is to get them back into full-time mainstream education so they can become happy and fulfilled young adults.”