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Student intervention centres heralded a success in Herefordshire schools

Secondary schools from across the county were represented this week at a gathering to celebrate the success of a three year project that has helped nearly 3,000 students get back on track.

Whitecross High School and Specialist Sports College hosted an event to open the final student intervention centre in Herefordshire, bringing the total to 14: one in each of the county’s secondary schools. 

Development of these centres began in 2009 under a three year pilot programme funded by the Department for Education.  With a budget of £2.4m, the aim was to provide an environment for young people to receive specialist support during times of need, but without them having to go to a separate centre for that support: each of the student support centres has been built within the heart of each respective school.

Most young people need a bit of extra support at some time in their lives.  Without this help and support, their education can suffer and this can have a detrimental effect on their long term prospects and wellbeing.  The student intervention centres were set up to offer this support in a safe but inclusive environment.  Students may spend time in them for a number of reasons:  sometimes because they need additional support because of emotional and social issues affecting their school life, because they are suddenly falling behind at school or they need additional help managing their behaviour for a while.

Bernie Hodgkin, Herefordshire Council, said: “Going through adolescence isn’t easy, and if things are going on at home or in their social lives, it doesn’t take much for a young person to lose their self-esteem.  With care, understanding and space to learn in a different environment for a while, our schools have illustrated how students can be given a boost and helped to get back on track.  Sometimes it’s something as simple as giving a young person the confidence to believe in themselves and their own ability to learn.” 

The celebratory event this week marked the opening of the final centre at Whitecross High School and Specialist Sports College.  Although the last school to open its centre, the head teacher, Denise Strutt, has been instrumental in the development of the project.  She said:
“We are extremely grateful to Clive Richard, OBE.  Without his generosity and support we would be unable to provide this quality of intervention for our young people.”