Pendle schoolchildren in pilot scheme

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SCHOOLCHILDREN in Pendle will be among the first in Lancashire to benefit from a £3 million project to recruit ex-service personnel as mentors in the county’s schools.

The mentors will provide support to pupils between the age of 14 and 16 who are struggling to improve their attainment and attendance and to reduce exclusions.

The decision to recruit the mentors was taken by members of Lancashire County Council’s cabinet. It has been agreed that the first year of this five-year programme will be run as a pilot project.

Pendle and Hyndburn will be the first to benefit from this programme within the initial pilot period.

In addition to supporting ex-service personnel to retrain and obtain employment, this proposal will also contribute to a reduction in the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training in Lancashire.

The project is being led by a steering group chaired by County Coun. Mark Perks, Cabinet Member for Young People.

County Coun. Perks said: “From the county council’s point of view, this initiative fulfils two very important objectives; not only will it provide support to pupils who need some extra help but it also makes use of the mentoring skills that ex-servicemen and women will have acquired while they were serving their country.

“Our proposal will provide opportunities of employment to a minimum of 50 ex-service personnel within Lancashire. They will receive good quality training to be a mentor in schools.

“We have made a commitment to work more closely with organisations that support ex-service personnel and their families. I am very pleased that organisations that support ex-servicemen and women have agreed to promote this particular initiative.”