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Mentors help boys stay on

A mentoring scheme in Kent to encourage students to stay on in education has proved a success. The project, developed by the Aimhigher Partnership in Kent and Medway, involved tailored support for 49 students at Hereson Boys' School in Ramsgate.

Mentor Di Bourne identified students from families with no experience of tertiary education who had the potential to benefit from staying on.

All but one of the students on the mentoring scheme have gone on to further studies, and most boys exceeded their GCSE predictions.

Luke Bawden, 17, is now studying for A-levels in English and maths, a health and social care course and GCSE Italian.

"Miss Bourne arranged for some of us to visit Brighton University for a week's taster course," he said. "I enjoyed it. At the time I was quite unsure about university. I was worried about bills and whether it was the right thing to do. Now I want to do it - I want to do nursing or something along those lines. My mum and dad are extremely supportive. They are right behind me."

Ms Bourne said: "I support the pupils in any way I can. This may be to negotiate with a subject teacher to organise extra one-to-one support, or to organise a quiet area in school to complete coursework."

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