Council Will Have Responsibility For ‘NEETs’ Under New Legislation

hugh town from BuzzaThe Council will have to take responsibility for monitoring NEETs, or youngsters who are ‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’ under new legislation introduced by the government.

Performance Manager, Keith Grossett, said the days when people can leave school at 14 are “long gone.”

By next year, islanders up to 17 years old will need to be in education employed, in training or undertaking voluntary work.

And by 2015, that age will rise to 18.

Last week, members of the Children and Young People Committee heard the new rules could have implications for the school and the authority.

The Council will have to identify young people in Scilly who aren’t participating.

And pupils who fail to achieve Level 2 in English or maths by 16 will be required to carry on until they pass.

The Five Islands School only takes children to 16, and those youngsters might not want to go to the mainland to continue.

Keith said there are very few NEETs in Scilly and most school leavers continue in some form of education or training.

But increasing the opportunities for apprenticeships has been a priority.

The Council recently negotiated with the Education Funding Agency to use discretionary grants to help apprenticeships on the mainland.

These cover travel and some accommodation costs, and were previously only available to students carrying on with their studies.

They’re also looking to support young people who want to work with a local employer and train on the mainland.

Lead Member for Children, David Pearson, said it was important to work with Lifelong Learning to provide alternative forms of education.

He also warned that there hadn’t been much publicity about the changes to the legislation and they needed to keep an eye on developments in this area.

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