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Specialist college urges government to back national blueprint to give young a better chance


A NATIONAL flagship college providing a wide range of specialist support for children at risk of exclusion from mainstream education is being created in North Lincolnshire after securing additional funding from Yorkshire Bank.

South Park Enterprise College, founded in 2002 and rated `outstanding' by OFSTED, works with young people throughout Yorkshire through UK Youth and currently supports 200 pupils as a specialist outsource facility providing a range of formal and informal education for North Lincolnshire and Derbyshire education authorities.

Having secured £1.5m funding from Yorkshire Bank's Lincoln Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), South Park Enterprise College will now benefit from vocational training in catering, horticulture, transport, martial arts, mentoring and woodcraft provided by private business 7KS.  It is hoped that these new facilities will encourage the government to provide start-up funding for a series of similar colleges throughout the country.

7KS provides an alternative to traditional local authority pupil referral units where children at risk of exclusion, including those with behavioural difficulties, are usually sent.    

During the three years that South Park Enterprise College has worked with North Lincolnshire Council, which does not have a Key Stage four pupil referral unit, no pupils have had to be excluded from the local authority system.

The college's approach has enabled all year 11 leavers to attain at least one Level 1 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework with many gaining the equivalent of five GCSEs at Level 2.

7KS chairman, Tony Hammond, 69, says: "The new funding has enabled us to broaden our vocational support and create a national flagship college. The rigidity of mainstream education means it cannot meet the individual needs of pupils who, for a variety of reasons, need a different help.

"Our college offers a better solution for assisting children than pupil referral units which lack the facilities to provide a positive outcome for the children, their families and their schools.

"Yorkshire Bank's Lincoln FSC backed us promptly after considering our proposition. Now we want the government to recognise our blueprint with a view to providing start-up support for other similar colleges just as it has funded city academies. This is the way to meet the needs of all pupils and their families as part of creating a truly inclusive society."

Yorkshire Bank's Lincoln FSC partner, Michael Pickles, says: "Our funding is a combination of a loan against the new premises and invoice finance. South Park Enterprise College is not just an exciting business proposition but provides an inspiring educational and social vision."

For further information contact:

Allan Barr            07796 181 043

Natasha Lobley     07974 688 501



About Yorkshire Bank
Yorkshire Bank was founded in 1859 in Halifax, West Yorkshire.  Today, the Bank has 190 branches, a strong personal customer base and a growing business capability in the North of England and the Midlands.  In 2006, Yorkshire Bank was voted the UK's 'Best Business Bank' by the Forum of Private Business.

Financial Solutions Centres:
Yorkshire Bank Financial Solutions Centres (FSC) offer Members a tailored range of business and private banking services under one roof. A team of specialist partners, each with considerable local experience, work together to provide Members with end to end solutions for their business and private banking needs. In addition to banking services, the FSCs also operate as a hub for local business, with a range of networking opportunities and meeting facilities available as a benefit of membership. 
Over 70 FSCs are located around the UK and in 2006 represented over half of the National Australia Bank Group's UK income.

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