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Joint summer education programme to support child asylum seekers welcomes first cohort

Sefton Council Virtual School, in partnership with Hugh Baird College, has launched a new summer school education programme aimed at supporting children seeking asylum into education.

The programme, which welcomed its first cohort yesterday, is aimed at improving participants’ English language skills and setting them up for success in education, post-16.

The project is the first of its kind in Sefton and is a dedicated programme for unaccompanied child asylum seekers. The aim is to give young people a warm, supportive atmosphere in which to learn and grow after a tumultuous period of their lives, as well as space to make connections with other young people and a peer group to move on with and sustain in full time post-16 learning.

Not only will the programme provide vital educational support and skills for life in the UK, but the young people on the programme will also be given the opportunity to enjoy a variety of enrichment days and cultural activities to help them to settle into their new home.

This initiative is the latest project to come out of the Sefton Virtual School, who aim to ensure that all cared for children, whatever their starting point, have access to an education that will support them to fulfil their aspirations and achieve their potential.

Mary Palin, Headteacher at Sefton Virtual School said:

“My colleague, Charlie Smith, and I want to thank our partners at Hugh Baird for their dedication and enthusiasm.

“Together, we will help these young people to learn the skills they need not only to embrace education, but to find and grow their unique and individual talents, make friends and become valued members of this community.”

Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education said:

“This project is a first for Sefton and it is fantastic to see the Council and Hugh Baird College come together to curate a bespoke summer programme for this cohort of kids who really need that educational support and peer network.

“Children are at the heart of everything we do here in Sefton Children’s Services and it is obvious Hugh Baird have this same strong corporate parenting responsibility towards our kids and want to see all young people in Sefton succeed.

“This tailor-made programme is the result of the hard work and great partnership between Hugh Baird and the Virtual School and they have put children and young people at the heart of it. I know it will make a real difference to the kids taking part.”