Marpool set to launch £750,000 project to help vulneerable youngsters
- Credit: Marpool Primary School
A proposed extension to an Exmouth primary school could provide vulnerable youngsters with a ‘half way house’ between mainstream and specialist education.
A project to create a new education centre on the grounds of Marpool Primary School for those pupils at risk of exclusion is set to be launched this week.
Marpool needs to raise £750,000 to complete construction of the Avocet Learning Trust Academy and is appealing to town businesses and charities to support its scheme.
Headteacher Rachel Pattison is hoping to create a facility which will ‘bridge the gap’ between mainstream education and special schools, adding: “It’s for children who find mainstream education is a challenge, where they are at risk of exclusion and where primary schools can not meet the individual needs and a special school is too bespoke.
“Children need to have a peer group and they need to have positive role models around them.”
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The school has been working with learning mentors for the last 10 years on site to support youngsters who do not fit in with traditional education but hasn’t got a specialised place for them on site.
Once funding is found for the Avocet Learning Trust Academy, a planning application will be submitted for a separate building in the school grounds.
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Youngsters whose needs are not being met by mainstream education and do not meet the criteria for ‘special’ schools will be eligible for academy support.
Should a permanent exclusion take place, Devon County Council may approach the academy for a place for £30 an hour. ‘Pay as you go’ support may well be accepted at a cost of £20 per hour either at the new centre or the school.
Alongside their core numeracy and literacy lessons, they will learn life skills and how to be a member of their community.
Where appropriate, pupils will have access to traditional education through Marpool Primary School.
A launch presentation is being held at Marpool Primary School on Thursday (November 29) as it looks to gain financial support from businesses and charities – both locally and nationally.
Doors will open at 6.30pm for welcome drinks before a presentation on the scheme at 7pm. For more information about the project, email email@example.com