My journey through secondary school

My personal journey through secondary school was tolerable at the best of times. It is no secret that adolescents in secondary¬†school are handed both the taxing responsibility of being required to know exactly what they would like to do as adults and also a mountain of work to achieve that goal. However, despite having been on top of my studies for the most part as well as having a general direction of where I wanted to be in the future, I was still unhappy during my time there. So what was missing? It looks as if what a majority of…

Alternative Education: dumping difficult pupils with bad providers makes the problem worse

As a provider of Alternative Provision for over 11 years, I can sympathise with some of the comments reported from illegal schools last week. As a NEET prevention provider having worked with 50 schools over the last five years, I can also understand the drivers operating in schools. In this BBC article, the illegal school proprietor recognised they had a narrow curriculum, but believed this was supplemented by a higher level of pastoral care. Focussing on illegal schools will not solve the problem that schools face, nor the broader point about education. The fact is that mainstream education does not…

11 years old and LifeLine School is reborn!

In 2005, the Local Authority of Barking and Dagenham approached LifeLine to pilot a year 11 education provision for hard-to-place students and school refusers. Over the last 11 years, this provision has gone from strength to strength and has adapted to suit the changing audience. In recent years, 100% of the referrals have been from recent arrivals, either to the borough or to the country. These recent arrivals require a different programme to the original participants and their parents have different hopes and aspirations. By and large the recent arrivals are economic or education migrants. The parents, in particular, want…

Lifeline Graduation 2016

On Friday the 8th of July, LifeLine held a graduation event for its class of 2016. This celebration featured a range of guest speakers and presentations, concluding the evening with the awarding of certificates to graduating students. Family and friends who attended the event were able to see some of what students had accomplished over the year and what makes LifeLine what it is. LifeLine students from previous years were invited to speak to the graduating class and offer some advice regarding the next step after finishing their Secondary education. More speakers were present to inspire and advise the students…