Skills for work in new school plans

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PLANS to revolutionise Blackpool schooling have risen from the ashes thanks to an ambitious new scheme.

PLANS to revolutionise Blackpool schooling have risen from the ashes thanks to an ambitious new scheme.

Bosses at Unity College in North Shore are hoping to open one of the country’s first Studio Schools.

The schools are designed with a strong emphasis on the world of work which aim to help every pupil pick up skills to help them into employment.

Blackpool was accepted onto a government pilot scheme four years ago which would have seen a new Studio School built in Layton.

But when Government funding was axed – the scheme looked to be left in tatters.

Now as Unity College has been given the go-ahead to take the idea forward.

They have drawn up exciting new plans and hope a new school can be built on site.

Headteacher Barbara Lund, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Unity College.

“Studio Schools are at the forefront of innovation in education. They offer a bold new approach to learning rooted in the real world

“They are designed to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to succeed in life and work.

“Students are given a strong academic base, but this is coupled with practical work skills to make them effective contributors to the Blackpool work force.”

Unity has named its vision for the school NEST which stands for Nurturing Enterprise, Skills and Talent.

The school will allow students to join at any time of the year to help transient youngsters coming into the town to gain skills.

There will be a strong focus on enterprise and the school will work with local employers to deliver training and skills.

They can pick up a wide range of vocational and occupational qualifications in an environment geared towards feeling like work not school.

It is hoped from NEST, pupils can either go into work, onto further training or higher education.

Although the scheme has been given the go ahead, staff are now working to apply for grants so the school can be housed in a purpose built space.

Barbara Lund added: “NEST is the perfect opportunity for education to contribute to the regeneration of Blackpool town centre.

“Not only will it provide incredible real life enterprise experiences, it will bring learning to our wider community.

“This is our opportunity to stimulate excitement about learning, enterprise and the future for Blackpool’s learners.”

David Lund, Director for Children’s and Adult Services at Blackpool Council said: “Unity College were already involved in promoting the original proposal and as a result of the demise of the BSF programme, we are pleased they have agreed to configure the studio school within this model.

“The local authority is working closely with the school to look at ways they can access capital.”