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Oct 23 2012

Harrow Saturday School win £262k Funding

Successful Saturday school schemes in Harrow which are helping underachieving pupils to outstanding attainment have won vital funding to secure their future and to assist even more young people.

A partnership involving Harrow and Barnet councils and the Afghan association Paiwand has been awarded £262,000 to expand Saturday school provision.

Harrow Weekend Schools at Norbury school, in Harrow, and Stag Lane Junior School, in Edgware, provide study support in English and maths which has been dramatically improving the educational attainment of participating pupils.

Pupils are nominated for extra help at Saturday schools by teachers. The Saturday school then works with both the student and their parents, who may be offered English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) support.

Harrow Weekend School, formerly at Whitefriars Community school, but now at Norbury was set up in 2009 and was managed by a unique partnership involving Harrow Council, voluntary organisations including Paiwand, the Somali Cultural and Educational Association and ContinYou, the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education.

Eighteen months later Stag Lane Junior set up a Saturday school offering English and maths to children in years 5 and 6. The outcomes were outstanding.

Figures for Stag Lane Saturday school’s 40 pupils during 2011 to 2012 show 89 per cent made good to outstanding progress in mathematics, with over half making a whole level plus progress during the year. In reading the results showed 83 per cent made good to outstanding progress with more than a third making over 1 level progress and in writing 58 per cent made good to outstanding progress with around one third making outstanding progress.

Success has been built on rigorous quality assurance and links with partner mainstream schools which refer pupils and together with the Saturday Schools track pupils’ progress.

Head teacher of Stag Lane Primary School, Helen Evans, who started the Stag Lane Saturday School, said: “The funding award is excellent news and it will allow us to expand to increase our Saturday from 40 to 100 pupils. When we started up two years ago, we decided to focus strongly on core subjects, English and maths and it has proved to be a huge success.”

The successful funding bid to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation secures not only the future of the Saturday schools in Harrow but also the Saturday School at Whitefield in Barnet.

Harrow Council, Portfolio holder for Children, Schools and Families, Cllr Mitzi Green, said: “Harrow Weekend School is proving to be highly successful in tackling underachievement. This generous award means that this good work can continue to expand and develop. It is an excellent example of what can be achieved by partnership working between the council and community groups.”

Source: Harrow Council

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