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Chances for students

PUBLISHED: 14:30 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:38 07 July 2010

Dozens of high school pupils from the Dereham area will be able to learn skills from animal care to health and beauty alongside their GCSEs as part of a “fantastic new initiative.

Dozens of high school pupils from the Dereham area will be able to learn skills from animal care to health and beauty alongside their GCSEs as part of a “fantastic new initiative.”

From next term, Northgate, Neatherd and Litcham highs, Dereham Sixth Form and Fred Nicholson special school will be linking up with Easton College to offer more subjects in a bid to keep young people in education after they get to 16.

Students will be able to study things they feel enthusiastic about such as construction, agriculture, car mechanics, catering and public services alongside the traditional and compulsory GCSEs.

Phyllis O'Grady, deputy director of Dereham Sixth Form College, said: “Dereham students are fortunate to have access to excellent schools, but there are still a number of students who become disaffected and drop out of education after 16. This is a superb way to keep them involved and help them achieve more qualifications to prepare for their future life, without affecting the study of their core subjects.”

Mrs O'Grady added: “It makes good sense to work with Easton College, which is providing these fantastic courses just a few miles down the road.”

Headteachers, principals, governors, students, key educational figures and the mayor of Dereham Lynda Turner all attended the launch of the DELF - 14-19 partnership at Dereham Sixth Form College and guest of honour was the Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James.

Pupils aged 14 to 16 who are interested in the new scheme will spend a day a week at Easton College to study their chosen level two vocational course, but will still continue with their basic core subjects.

The scheme will also extend to post 16 students who ultimately want to go on and pursue subjects at first and national diploma level, although may not have achieved the necessary GCSE results for A- level studies.

Dereham Sixth Form College has also been able to expand the range of courses available to students by working with Easton College to offer students a first diploma in Public Services and Countryside and Management.

It will be supplemented by a choice of complementary GCSEs and a Certificate of Personal Effectiveness which focuses on developing study and life skills.

Easton College principal David Lawrence said: “All of these developments are aimed at providing students with the best possible range of choices from 14 to 19, engaging them positively with their own learning, and encouraging them to continue in high quality education and training beyond 16. We're delighted to be able to support Dereham schools and students in such an effective and rewarding way.”

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