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New initiative to improve educational attainment in Wales

27/07/2011 Joanna
The Welsh government is to help unlock the potential of the students most at risk of dropping out of school with a new £15 million scheme.

First minister Carwyn Jones said the initiative will target youngsters between the ages of 11 and 16 who are facing difficulties such as under achievement and absenteeism.

Money will also be used to help support teenagers between 16 and 18 who are currently at college but are at risk of dropping out.

The initiative is being led by Gwynedd Council in collaboration with Anglesey, Denbighshire and Conwy councils along with Coleg Menai, Coleg Llandrillo and Careers Wales.

"We are determined to raise aspirations and increase participation rates in education, training and employment amongst our young people. Equipping them with new skills and confidence will improve their career prospects. It will also help us create the workforce the economy of north Wales will need to compete in the 21st century," Mr Jones commented.

"By working together with local authorities, schools and further education colleges, we can maximise our resources to deliver the very support young people need to remain or re-engage in education."

The scheme will provide alternative curricula for students and motivate students who are experiencing problems in the classroom.

It will be tailored to the needs of each individual involved and a range of techniques will be employed, such as one-to-one intensive support and activities aimed at raising self esteem.

Specialist support will also be provided for young people who are in care and those with disabilities.

In related news, Welsh education secretary Leighton Andrews recently announced plans to invest more than £165,000 in an initiative aimed at promoting singing in schools.

Posted by Katy Kearns

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