National Citizen Service have awarded ‘Champion School’ status to The Skipton Academy ,who have been recognised for their commitment to the flagship youth programme. The award is given to those schools that have exceeded expectations in promoting the programme and recruiting students to take part. More then 20% of the school’s year 11 students, led by teacher Dominic Fitzgerald, signed up for NCS last year, more than any other school in the area.
Open to all 16 to 17 year olds, regardless of circumstances or additional needs, NCS focuses on three core principles of social cohesion, social engagement and social mobility, all of which have benefits not just to the participants but to communities and society as a whole. The four week programme, which takes place in the school summer holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.
Year 11 Achievement Leader Dominic Fitzgerald said, ‘UCAS data tells us that university entrance rates are 12% higher for NCS participants, with a 50% increase for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Skipton Academy is very pleased to work with the National Citizen Service, as it reflects our school ethos of ‘Belong, Challenge and Inspire’.
Students at the school are set to enrol for the £35 programme once again this summer, with the aim of giving something back to the community. Latest NCS figures show that for every £1 invested in the programme, between £1.15 and £2.42 was delivered back to communities. Principal Richard McManus said “Being an active citizen and contributing positively to the wider community is a massive part of what it means to attend The Skipton Academy. This is the perfect example of our students living by our ethos – showing they belong to the community by giving something back, challenging themselves to push their own boundaries and achieving something very special for themselves while giving back to the community they come from. We are proud to be a champion school and proud that more of our students than any other local school get involved in projects like these. We look forward to this project continuing and going from strength to strength. Well done to Mr Fitzgerald and our fantastic students.”
Pictured – Academy Principal Richard McManus receiving the Champion School award from Niall Robison of National Citizen Service