Programme for East End parents to help kids make right choices in school for their future

Getting ready for secondary education... pupils in a Tower Hamlets Business Partnership lesson

Getting ready for secondary education... pupils in a Tower Hamlets Business Partnership lesson - Credit: Archant

Education chiefs are setting up a programme to help pupils in London’s deprived East End to make the right choices in secondary school that will affect the rest of their lives.

The one-year project is being piloted in four Tower Hamlets secondary schools in the new term—Bow, Langdon Park, Mulberry and Raines.

The Family Aspirations programme includes courses and workshops for parents at key stages in a child’s secondary education.

A three-week ‘Moving Up’ course is planned for Year 6 into Year 7, when pupils switch from primary to secondary education, offering parents tips for helping youngsters about what academic changes to expect.

A one-off workshop for Year 7 into Year 8 gives help on parenting techniques and guidance about decisions a pupil makes for their future.

For Year 9, the programme has information stalls with advice about choosing which GCSE subjects to take. A three-week course also helps parents support their child’s post-16 options and career path as they enter adulthood, which includes visits to universities and the world of commerce.

“Parents play a vital role in guiding youngsters as they make important life choices,” Tower Hamlets children’s services Cabinet member Gulam Robbani said. “It can have far-reaching benefits if we equip them for these moments in their child’s life.”

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The education authority has been giving grants to keep 16-year-olds in education and help ease university costs with a scheme launched two years ago after the government axed student maintenance allowance.

It is also pressing schools to link up with both universities to encourage higher education and with trade and industry to get work experience, apprenticeships and job opportunities.

Parents wanting more information on the Family Aspirations programme can go online or call the Parental Engagement team on 020-7364 6398.