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Phoenix Park and Sevenhills Academies reveal their new mobile classroom!

20 Sep 2020   |   Phil Burns   |   Phoenix Park Academy, Sevenhills Academy

The Home Office-backed scheme, sponsored by energy giant Phillips 66, was officially launched at Phoenix Park Academy in March.

Assistant Principal Phil Burns says it is adopting a new approach for a group of vulnerable students. “The priority for these students is to improve attendance, engagement and to ensure they are visible and safe. This new approach involves us taking school to our students and educating them offsite through a range of activities including fishing, orienteering and Forest Schools with a view to weave English and Maths into the offer.

Attendance for this group, with complex needs and historical patterns of engrained non-attendance in the academic year 18/19 was 23%, (as of March 2020 they were at 71%) with one student going from 0.8% to 83%. Our new offer is allowing education to be accessible for these learners and we are seeing high levels of engagement.

The mobile classroom has been converted from a mini-bus to include screens, tables and chairs where
teachers can deliver an education package to these learners that is suitable to their needs.”

Executive Principal Phil Hutchinson said Phoenix Park Academy was delighted to work in partnership with the Home Office and Phillips 66 to improve life chances for its most vulnerable students.

“This resource enables us to deliver high quality interventions and education in the community to those students who find it challenging to attend school. It further confirms Wellspring Academy Trust’s commitment to reach out to those young people and families who need our support.”

The project has attracted £15,000 Home Office funding. Inspector Steve Peck, Serious and Organised Crime Community Coordinator, a role sponsored by the Home Office, said: “I am very pleased to be able to support this outreach project. Children schooled within Pupil Referral Units often have complex needs and can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation from organised crime groups.

This proactive project seeks to actively engage with pupils to boost their attendance and engagement. The mobile classroom coupled with the motivated staff delivering the sessions will hopefully raise aspirations and prevent the children being exposed to exploitation if they would normally be on the streets during school hours.”

Phillips 66, which runs the Humber Refinery at South Killingholme, has contributed £10,000 to the project. Its UK director Darren Cunningham, given a tour of the Academy as well as helping launch the vehicle, said: “Phillips 66 is proud to support this amazing initiative with Phoenix Park Academy. It is education that gives us all the tools that help form the foundations of our future life decisions. Education isn’t black and white, and this innovative approach is helping to ensure everyone has the chance of an education, no matter what other difficulties they may be dealing with.”

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