A campaign to increase the number of teenagers from South Yorkshire going on to higher education is celebrating a major milestone.
The Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire (HeppSY+) regional outreach scheme aims to double the number of young people going on to degree level courses and apprenticeships.
The programme has seen 10,000 students board a mobile classroom that has been taking to the road to inspire them about their future higher education options.
As part of a series of campaign activities, a team of graduates have been touring schools and colleges in the region giving talks and workshops on board a double-decker mobile classroom.
Garett Hensley, 14, from Don Valley Academy, on Jossey Lane in Scawthorpe, Doncaster, is the 10,000th student to board the HeppSY+ mobile classroom.
He was part of a group of around 100 students who spoke to the HeppSY+ graduate intern outreach team when they attended his school on January 25th to provide information about higher education courses at college and university.
Garett said: “I really enjoyed the activity session on the bus. I think it helps to show the opportunities that are available. I’m hoping to go university and really want to study games design.”
The HeppSY+ team comprises graduates from a broad range of backgrounds who talk about their own experience of university as well as other issues such as how to apply and finance.
The mobile classroom that they use is fitted with a suite of laptop computers on the top deck, and has an informal meeting area at ground level. Activities on board include information, presentations, quizzes, question and answer sessions, and the chance to search for university level apprenticeships and courses online.
Richard Brooke, Principal of Don Valley Academy, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the 10,000th student on the HeppSY+ bus. It is a testament to how our students, parents and carers, and staff have engaged with HeppSY+ project.”
Jamie McMahon, Regional Director at Delta Academies Trust, added: “We have one aim at Delta and that is to “Change Lives”. All Delta Academies across the Sheffield City Region have taken the HeppSY+ project and made some real changes to how we deliver our careers programme. This project is fully embedded into our Careers Strategy and really is impacting on raising the aspirations and life chances of our students.”
Aimed at young people in 45 electoral wards in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, North East Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, the HeppSY+ programme involves a range of outreach activities and provides information about higher education courses as well as higher apprenticeships at college and university.
Mike Garnock-Jones, Director, Higher Education Progression Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this major milestone at Don Valley Academy as part of our campaign to unlock the talent of thousands of young people in our region and transform their career and life prospects.”
He added: “We are targeting young people who might not have otherwise gone on to study a degree at college, university or as part of an apprenticeship. The response has been very positive from both students and teachers. They love the environment on board the bus, which has been visiting schools and colleges since October 2017, and have provided us with terrific feedback about the fun and engaging sessions they have participated in.” For more information, visit www.heppsy.org. Follow @HeppSYplus.