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Norwich Future Project has turned lives around for the better

PUBLISHED: 13:58 25 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:25 26 July 2011

Students who are facing closure of the school at Future Project. Paige Green 17.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Students who are facing closure of the school at Future Project. Paige Green 17. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

As revealed in Saturday's Evening News, current parents and students at Future Education face uncertainty about their future after Norfolk County Council gave the contract for alternative education to CfBT Include.

A parent speaks...

Caroline Shears’ son Jordan spend two years at Future Education. She was so impressed with the work they do that she now works as a behaviour mentor at the school.

Even though her son has left, they still rely on the school and Future Project for support.

Her son was at Costessey High School and was diagnosed with ADHD.
“If he didn’t get on in a lesson, he would just walk out”, she said. “They wouldn’t just leave him. They kept on and on and on his back.

“When he was 14 I thought my son would never get GCSEs. I thought he wouldn’t get any qualifications. If he had stayed in mainstream education I don’t think he would have gone to college.”

He has now done a year in vehicle maintenance at City College Norwich.

“This gave him the confidence and they can still come back and see them whenever he wants.”

“My son came here last year and they still give support after they have left”, she said.

There is a possibility that his course at City College might close and Mrs Shears said that it was even more vital that the school remained open so that he could continue to get the support he needs.

Independent school Future Education helps teenagers with emotional and behavioural difficulties, but they are now facing the prospect of being unable to return to lessons there when the new term starts in September.

The school’s funding crisis has devastated parents and pupils, who have spoken to the Evening News about how Future Education has turned their lives around.

Future Education, operated 
by Future Projects, in Motum Road, North Earlham, has lost the contract from Norfolk County Council to give Year 10 and 11 pupils an academic education and said that other projects at the charity could be at risk.

Here a former pupil and a former parent and current staff member at the school talk about the difference it has made to them.

A former student speaks...

Paige Green, 17, was at Earlham High School before she was excluded.

In her early teens she would go out on the streets and would get in trouble for anti-social behaviour.

“I would get in to trouble for silly little things like being in a gang”, she said.

“I did used to like school but I did my first year at Earlham and then I went downhill.

“I used to sign in and then walk out of school and go somewhere else. I was disruptive in lessons.”

After being excluded she started at Future Education.

“I did two years here and I stopped skiving”, she said. “They just had so much more to offer. We weren’t in very big classes and they respected you more here.

“When I first came, I thought I’ll give it a couple of days. I realised that this wasn’t that bad so there was no point in missing school.

“Here they understand you more and they care about you.

“When I came here I was childish, but here they made me stand on my own two feet. They made me realise that I had got to get into reality and get a job.”

“They do not just see it as a job. They really want to help people. They have put their heart into the school.”

She left with GCSEs in Maths, English, Science and Art as well as BTECs and she now has a job at KFC and she also volunteers with disabled children.

“I have just grown up really”, she said.

“If I hadn’t come here I would probably still be going out on the rampage and skiving school. At least I’ve got some education.”

She still returns to see staff and get help with looking at future courses.

Has the scheme helped turn your or your son or daughter’s life around? 
Contact Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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