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IDS Visit

Today Secretary for State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, visited the school. The purpose of his visit was to look at the work of Ms Begum, Progression  Manager/Coach, and the programme ThinkForward. The programme focuses on identifying and supporting at risk young people and provide them with targeted support to ensure that they transition successfully into work, education or training. It is underpinned by three key principles:

  • Early and long-term intervention – work with young people for over 3 years of sustained support through key transitional phases
  • 1:1 relationship with an experienced, trusted coach – highly qualified and skilled coaches, personal to schools
  • Connective but not duplicative – complimenting current provisions rather than creating new initiatives

Ms Begum and her programme are funded by the charity, Tomorrow’s People, who in turn receive funding from the Private Equity Foundation. Ms Begum is our personal coach.

Iain Duncan Smith is interested in the programme from the extent that it reduces the possibilities of students becoming NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) upon leaving school.  The Secretary spent the morning over-seeing a Year 9 group tutorial session on interview skills and interacting with the young people to find out their views on education and their future goals. In addition, he had a tour of the Sixth Form Business BTEC class.

The Secretary was accompanied by an ITN news film crew and team of journalists from the Guardian and the Telegraph. Baroness Deborah  Stedman-Scott, the CEO of Tomorrow’s People, also attended.

Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of the Private Equity Foundation says: “Once a young person walks out of the school gate for the last time they become much harder to help. Our latest initiative ThinkForward, is about identifying the most vulnerable early and giving them someone whose sole focus is to provide them with the continuity of support which takes them all the way to their first job and beyond.”

For more information visit the Tomorrow’s People website:


IDS Visit  IDS Visit

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