Graduate mentor scheme to support 700 pupils in Barnsley

Barnsley council has approved £175k funding for the mentors to support 720 pupils who will be sitting GCSEs and A-levels next summer through the GROW mentoring programme.

In partnership with South Yorkshire Futures, the GROW programme will be rolled out in schools across Barnsley after the funding was approved as part of a range of measures to support pupils affected by school closures and missed lessons due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A student wearing a face mask, speaking to someone blurred out in the foreground.

Councillor Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “Our schools and college have put in place a range of measures and support for all Year 11 and 13 students, to ensure that they have the best chance in their exams and to ensure that Barnsley young people succeed.

“Together with our schools and college, we have a shared ambition and commitment for every child to be able to achieve their potential and receive the qualifications they need to take their next steps in life.”

The programme was launched in July with a pilot in four schools across South Yorkshire. An evaluation of the pilot found an increase in engagement by all pupils who took part, increased motivation and confidence. GROW aims to support the government’s National Tutoring Programme which was launched in schools last month.

Consultation with schools suggests that, in addition to tutoring, broader support around wellbeing as well as re-engaging and motivating pupils will be vital to help young people successfully transition back to full-time school and make the right choices for their future.

GROW programme director, Sue O’Brien, said: “We’re delighted Barnsley Council has approved this funding to support hundreds of pupils in the town to refocus on their education during these incredibly challenging circumstances.

“During these crucial transition years as young people look forward to either their post-16 post-18 options, the programme provides pupils with a relatable role-model who can guide, champion and inspire them on their educational journey and beyond, and support an improvement in academic attainment.

“This, alongside the wider measures put in place by Barnsley Council, will make a huge difference to the outcomes for these young people.”

Graduates or schools interested in taking part in the programme should email the GROW team.

To read more, visit the Press Office website.