National Citizen Service (NCS), the UK’s flagship youth programme for 16 and 17 year olds, has awarded ‘Champion School’ status to 345 schools across England, among them Weobley High School in Herefordshire.
The status has been given to those institutions who have excelled in promoting the programme and recruiting young people to take part over the last academic year.
Champion school head teachers and staff in Weobley High School cite the markedly positive effect that participation in NCS programmes has on both young people and their wider institutions.
Schools that have significant numbers of pupils taking part in NCS have seen a notable change in pupil wellbeing and engagement with academic work.
For young people, NCS provides a host of practical and emotional benefits, among them a positive contribution to UCAS personal statements and wider social and personal development.
Nearly three quarters of those who have taken part in NCS feel more confident about getting a job, and nine in ten feel that it has helped them develop useful skills for the future. They also demonstrate high levels of confidence and resilience, and report lower levels of anxiety than their peers.
Mrs Stokes, Careers Coordinator at Weobley High School says: “The school has been very pleased to have been involved in NCS.
“Our Year 11 students have expressed how participation has widened their horizons, enabled them to make new friends, consider issues within our society and work collaboratively on charity and community projects.”
NCS is a two-four week programme for 16 & 17 year olds which takes place during school holidays.
The programme involves teenagers meeting other local young people from a range of backgrounds, living independently, and developing new skills whilst learning more about their communities and how they can make a difference through social action projects. There are a number of ways in which schools can work with their local NCS provider to raise the profile of the programme to students and parents, ranging from delivering an assembly to students to attending careers events, parents’ evenings and delivering sessions to tutor groups. All are free of charge.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “It’s really fantastic to see that so many pupils have already benefitted from the wide range of programmes provided by National Citizen Service (NCS).
“I want to congratulate all the ‘champion schools’ and thank them for their hard work and commitment helping young people across the country gain vital skills that will help them get on in life and fulfil their potential.
Michael Lynas, CEO of NCS Trust said:
“NCS is an investment in the future of young people. Everyone who takes part has the opportunity to develop new skills, meet new friends from different schools, and gain the confidence they need to be successful in life and work.”
APM delivers NCS across the West Midlands and enjoys successful partnerships with more than 30 champion schools within the region.
Notes to Editors:
Founded by four female occupational therapists in 1994, APM is an international employment and training business with more than 1,200 staff at 400 sites in UK, Australia & New Zealand.
A private company still wholly owned by its founders, APM UK delivers a diverse portfolio of employability, skills, youth and justice contracts, most notably Work Programme, Working Capital, National Citizen Service and National Offender Management Service.
Australia’s leading provider of government vocational rehabilitation services, the business has a mission to improve the lives of one million people by 2020. For more information please visit www.apm-uk.co.uk or contact Paul King on 07739 677 202.