[T]his week Lakes College held an awards ceremony for the last year of their school links programme. The programme has been running at Lakes College since 2002.
Initially it was a national programme known as the Increased Flexibility Programme (IFP) set up by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to provide vocational learning opportunities at Key Stage 4 for those students who would benefit most. Approximately two thousand 14-16 year olds from all the schools in West Cumbria have been involved at some stage. They have had the opportunity to study and achieve qualifications in Hairdressing, Beauty, Motor Vehicle, Engineering, Construction, Catering, Sport, Public Services, and Childcare.
Around twenty students attended the awards ceremony from the following schools: Keswick, St Benedict’s, Workington Academy, West Cumbria Learning Centre and Hospital Home Tuition. Each student was presented with a certificate for their achievements and the learners friends, family and school teachers attended to celebrate the success. Four students were also presented with a Lakes College achievement award and another was given a Lakes College outstanding achievement award.
Chris Nattress (Lakes College Principal) stated: “I was delighted to celebrate the achievements of our local partner schools’ students today, marking an excellent year for all concerned. This long-standing partnership with schools has enabled thousands of local children to access our excellent facilities and the support of specialist Lakes tutors. They receive excellent vocational training and gain an insight into the types of employment they may want to consider. My thanks to all the staff involved in supporting a really great programme”.
Pamela Mattinson (schools co-ordinator) spoke highly about the programme: “The students have not only achieved an extra qualification but responded well to the broader learning opportunities which has resulted in improved attitudes, behaviour and social skills both here at College and schools. I am very proud to have been involved from the beginning of such a great programme and sad that this is the last year.”