in #KillieStories September 1, 2017
Opening of Common Thread Education and Training Centre
Greg Kiltie and Paul Di Giacomo took time out on Friday to attend the opening of a new education and training centre in Kilmarnock for Children and Young People with challenging behaviour that cannot be catered for in a mainstream school environment.
Greg officially opened the Centre and commented, "This is a fantastic facility for young people who are experiencing a difficult time in their lives. I am lucky that I have a supportive family and love football but I understand not everyone is as fortunate as me. I really hope the young people who come here benefit from the facilities and I look forward to hearing how they get on"
The school has a capacity for 20 young people and will serve the Kilmarnock area for both day and residential pupils. The facility has 12 rooms that will be used for a variety of activities including a gym, activity room, chill room, music room and IT. There is also a general purpose room housing an Interactive Smartboard. As with Common Thread’s other schools throughout Scotland, there will be a mixture of both residential and day pupils and they will be placed by the local authorities. It is expected that their residential placements will be from Common Thread Care and other independent providers.The school is equipped to provide a full broad general education curriculum from primary to Primary to Secondary education up to National 5 Qualifications. There is a highly supervised environment providing at least a 1:4 ratio staff to young people.
The children and young people who attend the Common Thread Kilmarnock Education & Training Centre, will have mild to severe behavioural challenges and all will have experienced a traumatic and or life changing event in their lives. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, they are all generally disengaged from school and not attending regularly.
Kieron O’Brien, Executive Head of Education, Common Thread Group said “each young person receives a bespoke and unique learning programme that is evaluated and revised on a regular basis. Education and Care Staff interact to ensure the best outcomes are achieved for each young person.”
During 2016/17 academic year, Common Thread Schools boasted an average 78% attendance for all young people, 100% engagement at schools between 2-5 hrs a day and a 95% attainment which meant that all 25 young people that are attending or have attended the centres achieved level 1 to 3 Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, while 70% of the young people achieved over 75 National 3 to National 5 units. A phenomenal achievement considering that most of these young people struggle to attend school and focus on the importance of a sound education.
The Centres cater for young people aged 8 to 18 years of age.
Julie Joseph, CEO, Common Thread Group said “the opening of this new facility complements our two other schools in Dumfries and the Central Belt where our personalised learning programmes are achieving outstanding results, particularly as some of our young people are the most challenging you would find in Scotland.”