Tes Awards 2020: Alternative provision of the year

‘Creating unimagined futures’: Stone Soup Academy, Nottinghamshire, wins this year’s award
13th November 2020, 8:43pm

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Tes Awards 2020: Alternative provision of the year

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/tes-awards-2020-alternative-provision-year
Stone Soup

When the staff at Stone Soup Academy, an alternative provision (AP) school for young people excluded from mainstream education, decided on a strategy to improve the life chances of their 80 students, they aimed high.

"We wanted to give our students a future so they might care more about the present - they might not get involved in crime and violence if they had something to lose - so we set about creating this future for our students," the school's submission reads.

Staff decided the key to the success of creating futures was to involve businesses and the local community, so they set up partnerships with 12 local businesses, which offered job experience and placements.

Two students were permanently employed and two were offered apprenticeships as a result.

Julie Oliver, head of human resources at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, one of the partners of Stone Soup Academy, said that students had gained confidence and skills, and sometimes a job.

She said: "Those who have turned 16 over the course of the programme have applied for and been successful in gaining part-time employment. I see this as a real success and an opportunity that they wouldn't have had without the confidence, support and belief of Stone Soup Academy."

Statistics also show a bright picture: attendance reached above 80 per cent (it's at 62 per cent for AP nationwide), 100 per cent of all students achieved qualifications, 82 per cent achieved GCSE English and maths.

Lead judge Vijita Patel, principal at Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre, added: "What's fantastic is that, in some of the responses, the families articulate 'getting their child back'. So the impact they are having for families is quite profound."

 

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