The main project we undertake in West Essex is the Grace Academy.
Started in November 2009, Grace Academy alternative education and support programme offers 8 places per day to Essex County Council’s West Essex Behaviour and Attendance Partnership (BAP), targeting in particular young people who are having significant difficulties attending mainstream school.
The project aims to provide these young people with a supportive and environment where they can develop life and learning skills and receive intensive nurturing support. Within this curriculum are a range of work-related experiences that help participants prepare for life beyond compulsory school.
Developed out of needs identified in a local church based youth group, the Grace Academy is partially funded through the BAP, but also relies heavily on volunteers and fundraising.
While still in its infancy this project is already making a significant difference in the lives of young people who attend. While many of the young people attending have poor school attendance or none at all, at Grace Academy the average attendance figure is over 80%.
Key features of the project:
- The programme runs for five days per week between 10 am and 2.30 pm.
- The project offers participants the opportunity to participate in ASDAN's Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (COPE) qualification
- Participants are also be offered ASDAN qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy.
- Whenever appropriate and possible, students will be offered relevant work experience opportunities.