Heroes in our schools transforming lives

Ben Slade

Star rating: ***

London Festival of Education

Celebrating Education in London

Connection Space – Institute of Education

London WC1

Saturday 28th February 2015

A workshop to discuss:

  • Improved behaviour, attendance and attainment for young people.
  • Focuses on core British Values – democracy, mutual respect, tolerance and the rule of law from individuals who live and breathe them.
  • Enables students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Focuses on careers advice and employability skills and how we can turn young people around. See Beth’s short video story below.

“We see potential in young people that others don’t and believe in them in ways others can’t.” Jan Richardson MBE, DL, JP Trustee for SkillForce

The SkillForce presentation was delivered by Ben Slade, the SkillForce CEO, a former Head teacher with 15 years experience, supported by colleagues including two of his instructors. He explained that SkillForce is a not for profit company that exists to inspire young people to succeed. They aim to teach resilience and their role, when called upon by schools, is to step in at the point just before a challenging student is about to get excluded, or referred to a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). He said that SkillForce could educate 10 students for the same cost that it would take to fund one student in a PRU.

SkillForce’s approach is to engage, prepare and develop. Their instructors use activity-based learning in the classroom and activities beyond it to inspire and raise levels of achievement, deliver improved behaviour, attendance and attainment for young people, and enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.

That is all very laudable and from the numbers, it seems to be working very well. SkillForce have worked with 50,000 people over the years and aim to work with another 100,000 children over the next 10 years.

It was interesting to see the military influence on this programme, for two of the employees present were ex–RAF staff and some of their patrons and senior executives were former senior RAF men and women. These include none other than Prince William, a patron and of course, serving RAF soldier.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

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Tiemo Talk of The Town review and organise topical debates and seminars. Since 2005 they have held debates on a variety of topics, including social issues that empower people and communities; politics, the family, relationships, personal finance, education and religion.

For further information:–

1. Skillforce website

2. London Festival of Education – LFE

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