Norfolk schools secure grant to inspire young engineers

Jason Chapman, representative from Neatherd High School and Beth Alston, representing Easton college

Jason Chapman, representative from Neatherd High School and Beth Alston, representing Easton college at the Science Learning Centre in York where the strategic planning was done and worked out how best to spend the allocated funds. Picture: Neatherd High School - Credit: Archant

Three secondary schools and a further education college have successfully secured a grant aimed at supporting pupils and encouraging them to take up engineering courses.

The £12,000 fund provided by Enthuse Partnership, in collaboration with the Tomorrow Engineers Programme, was awarded to an academic partnership consisting of Neatherd High School, Easton & Otley College, Wayland Academy and the Nicholas Hammond Academy.

The schools will work together over a two year period to increase uptake in engineering qualifications for students over the age of 16.

Neatherd High School in Dereham will be leading the programme.

Head teacher, Peter Devonish, said: 'As a partnership of High schools we wish to support pupils that may typically have low attainment in GCSE maths and science to gain further qualifications and skills before moving into the work force.

'As a collective of schools we have a number of pupils that will consider the agricultural route to employment and begin working post-16.

'We also wish to change perceptions of the career path and make students aware of the opportunities that are available for high achieving students in the engineering field.'

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Easton and Otley College currently provides some of the county's most popular engineering courses through its specialism in the agricultural and farming professions.

The college's vice principal, Ray Goodman, said: 'Easton and Otley College has a proud history and tradition of teaching a wide range of engineering and agricultural engineering courses to students of all ages and backgrounds.

'We are looking forward to working with high schools in the region to talk about all the exciting career opportunities that are available in an industry that is always on the look-out for new talent.'

'From formula one to futuristic farming via super ships and space travel – today's engineers will have the chance to create tomorrow's world.'

The Tomorrow's Engineers programme is led by the engineering community and it is hoped that this new partnership will also help develop strong links with some of Norfolk's top engineering employers.