Evening News says Save our Future

Since it was started more than a decade ago Future Projects has helped numerous young people and benefitted the whole community.

It has been praised by the home secretary, one of its founders was made an MBE and from just two volunteers working on the streets of North Earlham it has grown to become a school and helped teenagers excluded from countless mainstream schools and projects to gain GCSEs and go on to better things.

Many admit that if it wasn't for Future they might be in and out of the court system or hanging around on the streets with no jobs and no prospects.

Ofsted and other bodies are full of praise for the charity, which they say knows its community and operates in its community. It is a testament to the hard work of staff who go above and beyond their job description that the school has been such success.

However, another organisation has been awarded a contract to provide alternative education, leaving not just the school arm, Future Education, but the whole project with doubts about its future.

Just days before the end of term parents of the students were sent a letter telling them their child could be sent somewhere else.

But most of these children are doing well where they are. It would be a crying shame to lose the expertise and staff who have worked tirelessly over the years to make the project the success it is.

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While it is welcome news that Norfolk County Council will provide funding to ensure that Year 11 students are able to finish their education at Future Education, there are students expected to start in September.

What these teenagers and staff at the project need is certainty and continuity.

If the school's long-term future will not rely on Norfolk County Council funding, it needs time to look at other solutions.

This is why today the Evening News is calling on Norfolk County Council to give Future Education two years' grace.

That would ensure those expecting to start do not face unacceptable uncertainty and give this successful organisation the chance to find a long-term funding solution.