Passport to student success

Reporter: Karen Doherty
Date published: 09 January 2017

A MAJOR scheme has been launched to help EVERY pupil in the borough develop the essential skills they need to be successful in education, work and life.

The unique Oldham Pledge contains 14 tasks which primary, secondary and college students will complete such as attending regular enrichment activities, volunteering, fundraising, taking part in a performance, broadening their cultural horizons, looking after their health and learning how to manage money.

They will receive a Passport to Success, completed over each stage of school and college, which will be stamped when they do an activity which fulfils a pledge.

The aim is to ensure that every pupil ­- not matter what their background, school or college ­- has the support and opportunities to develop the essential skills and character traits universities and employers are looking for such as confidence, clear communication, motivation, tolerance, creativity and problem solving.

The initiative has been developed in response to the Oldham Education and Skills Commission which carried out a major review on how to improve education in the borough.

Headed by former Education Secretary Estelle Morris, its recommendations included developing an "Oldham Offer" that every school and college should sign up to so that every child receives an eduction which goes beyond the national curriculum, embracing areas such as culture, sport, character development, and life and employability skills.

A pilot passport scheme has now been launched at Oldham Sixth Form College; Hathershaw College and Crompton House secondary schools and four primaries: Coppice, Roundthorn, St Matthew's and Whitegate End. But is is hoped that every school will sign up from September.

The pledges have been designed by a range of professionals and organisations in Oldham including schools, college, the Children's University programme, Mahdlo youth centre, Oldham Youth Council and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

They included Lorna Philip, assistant principal at Hathershaw College.

She said: "Every pupil is entitled to the same learning opportunities regardless of what school they go to to develop character traits and employability skills for the future.

"This initiative is a real good news story and one that Oldham should be really proud of ­- it's unique."

Oldham Education Partnership, has agreed funding. It is hoped that local businesses and organisations will sponsor individual pledges.

Schools and colleges will hold their own graduations and students will also be honoured at the new Oldham Education Awards which are expected to be launched next year.

Suzy Ashworth, the borough's study support, linking project and Children's University manager, added said: "This is going to be huge for Oldham. Businesses they want to employ young people so the more we can do to get them ready for employment, the better."

The 14 pledges

To attend regular enrichment activities within your place of learning.

To attend regular enrichment activities beyond your place of learning.

To take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing.

To actively look for and pursue reading opportunities.

To actively engage in the world of work and to be moneywise.

To actively engage in fundraising events.

To actively engage in an outward bound activity or residential.

To take part in a presentation or performance to an audience.

To attending sporting and creative events.

To be involved in a volunteering or leadership role in or beyond your place of learning.

To be involved in a cultural or international experience.

Contribute to environmental sustainability.

To be involved in a democratic process.

To use digital technology to enhance learning.