‘Inspirational’ Homewood early intervention programme secures new funding

‘Inspirational’ Homewood early intervention programme secures new funding

Homewood has secured vital new funding to continue the transformational work of its bespoke early intervention programme, Take Up the Challenge.

The Brissenden Trust has granted £4,000 to the TUTC programme which helps dozens of students aged 11-13 who are struggling in their first years at secondary school.

In addition, the local charity, which focuses on supporting causes specifically within the Tenterden and St Michael’s areas, will consider continuing their support into the following academic year, subject to seeing a positive impact analysis from the programme.

News of the grant comes as TUTC celebrates its 50th cycle. In all, more than 650 Homewood students have successfully completed the programme since it began 14 years ago.

The central aim of TUTC is to improve the educational outcome for any students in years 7 and 8 who are not thriving at school either academically or socially and who could easily become school refusers.

Up to 48 students undertake the programme each year, split into four groups of no more than 12 students.Graduates are then brought back together at the start of the new school year for a residential course to re-energise the skills they learned and the friendships they made the previous year. The friendships will often endure through to Sixth Form and beyond.

TUTC has been praised by Kent Youth Services for its transformational approach for students experiencing a range of educational, behavioural, social and personal issues which may prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Homewood had secured generous donations from the Tenterden Lions Club and Town & Country Cleaning to top up the school’s contribution from its overall budget to start this year’s programme but further funding was urgently needed to ensure that TUTC would run for the full academic year and beyond.

Presenting the school with a grant cheque, Mrs Janet Solly, Chair of Trustees for the Brissenden Trust said: “We are delighted to be supporting a strong, local educational initiative which makes a real difference to young people.“

Homewood Principal Jeremy Single said: “Take up the Challenge is an inspirational programme that has a measurable impact on students. It has been shown to improve the outcomes of its graduates in numerous ways, from attendance and behaviour to communication and academic achievement in English and Maths. As a truly inclusive school, dedicated to ensuring that every child can thrive and reach their full potential, it is therefore vitally important that we can continue to run the programme for the benefit or current and future students.”