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Thank you Police and Crime Commissioner!

A huge thank you to Commissioner Lisa Townsend who recently approved a £4,500 grant to support our educational support team, STEPS to 16

The team, based in Woking, support young people struggling with a range of social, emotional, or mental health needs. This funding will enable students to develop their critical thinking skills, which staff hope will support healthy life choices and good decision making when it comes to issues such as drugs, gang crime and poor driving.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ellie Vesey-Thompson, who leads the Commissioner’s work on provision for children and young people visited the team and said “supporting Surrey’s children and young people is vitally important to the Commissioner and I. STEPS to 16 ensures that students who are finding it difficult to continue with traditional education can still learn in a safe setting. I saw first hand that the work done by STEPS helps students rebuild their confidence when it comes to learning, and helps set them up for the future.”

I was particularly impressed with the approach STEPS takes to help support all of their students through exams to ensure that the challenges they have faced within mainstream education do not prohibit them from achieving the qualifications they need for future success.

“Young people who don’t consistently attend school may well be more vulnerable to criminals, including the predatory county lines gangs which exploit children into dealing drugs. It is important that we recognise that mainstream schools may be too overwhelming or challenging for some students, and that alternative provisions that help keep these students safe and enable them to continue learning are key to their success and wellbeing. The funding provided for life skills lessons will encourage these students to make good choices around friendships and inspire healthier behaviours that I hope will last for the rest of their lives.”

Programme Manager, Richard Tweddle said: “Our aim has always been to create a place where children want to come because they feel safe. We want these students to go onto further education or, if they choose, into a workplace, but that can’t happen unless they feel safe to risk learning again.”

We want to ensure that every young person who comes through the door reaches their full potential, even if traditional education hasn’t worked for them.


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