Help schoolswork.co.uk go the extra miile...

Posted on June 18, 2014 by Amy Tolmie
Categories:

You might have encountered schoolswork.co.uk at a conference, a training day you attended or perhaps at one of our Imagine days. Maybe you have a pack of schoolswork playing cards or have used some of our other resources in schools. We get out and about a lot, and it's great to meet so many of you on our travels around the country. But most of you haven't seen schoolswork.co.uk HQ.

We're based in a small office in Luton. It's crowded and not nearly good enough for what we want to be doing. Not being ones to sit and do nothing, we teamed up with the other projects within our wider organisation, Youthscape, did loads of fundraising and bought Bute Mills a few months ago.

Bute Mills is big and it will never be crowded. It is going to give us the space for a tailor-made conference and training suite as well as become an incredible home-from-home youth centre for those who live in the local area.

We're now raising money to refurbish Bute Mills and as part of that we have two incredibly brave members of Youthscape staff, Chris and Martin, walking over 100 miles in 3 little days from 23-25th of June. They are Going The Extra Mile because they believe in schoolswork.co.uk and want to see what we do increase in impact.

We've been on an exciting journey at schoolswork.co.uk over the last few years to develop a qualification that better equips Christians visiting schools to offer their support and skills to education. Good relationships with staff and students in schools are always going to be the best foundation for good schools work. This course exists to strengthen that with a look at the skills and knowledge needed to make the most of working with students and alongside school staff in a professional educational environment.

We have had 28 students go through the course so far and have been amazed at how well those from different backgrounds and levels of experience have worked well together and grown through the course. Tris is one of our current students studying in South London. He writes:

"Enable Schools Work has been a great experience. It is a practical course that has helped me look at the broad picture of what a voluntary organisation can offer an educational setting and the implications, tensions and benefits of these. I have been able to connect with other volunteers in educational settings and be encouraged and challenged by the variety of options and work available to voluntary organisations, and also to reflect on the work I'm doing, it's relevance and impact.

The Enable course has given me confidence to speak to senior members of staff and has given me a deeper knowledge of schools, their processes and expectations. I feel it adds significance and weight to my work through active research, reflecting on work, being observed, giving feedback, debating issues, learning about other effective organisations and their ethos and strategy. It has given me a far better picture of the objectives and problems facing schools, the different types of educational settings and how they are governed. I am looking forward to reflecting more on the course and seeing further adjustments that my organisation can make as a result of the learning I have gained."

We cannot wait to offer this course more widely and take it deeper in its provision. There is currently an Award and Certificate at Level 3, accredited by Edexcel. We are in the beginning stages of writing the Diploma and part of the vision is to have a schools work centre for excellence where we can run this training. The Bute Mills centre mentioned above, will hold a purpose built training suite that will accommodate future Enable Schools Work students. It will give them somewhere to connect with other workers, great training and also to do that in the context of the wider Youthscape team who are working on the ground in schools every day. This will be a centre where excellence is modelled and inspired. But we can't do this alone! Would you consider joining in with this vision?

If you'd like to stand with us and support the work of schoolswork.co.uk by Going The Extra Mile with Chris and Martin, then please donate to the walk. Just text MILE33 to 70070 with the amount you'd like to give, e.g. MILE33 £5 or MILE33 £10 – it's as easy as that! Alternatively, head on over to www.give.net/yswalk and make your donation.

We will publish photos from the 3-day event so make sure you're following @youthscape on twitter so you can see what they get up to! Watch this space and thank you for your support.