Workshops to prepare students for independent living

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced that new workshops will be available from September to support schools and colleges teach young people about living independently.

Schools, colleges and sixth forms can run the optional Leapskills sessions from September, using specialist resources developed by student accommodation provider Unite, covering: independent living; managing personal finances; developing and maintaining relationships; and how and where to access support.

1,000 students have already benefited from the Leapskills workshops through a 18-month trial, with feedback highlighting that 96 per cent of students were engaged during the session and 91 per cent of teachers would recommend it to a colleague.

Hinds said: “For young people leaving school, starting the next chapter of their life should be a positive life-changing experience – but we know that many people struggle with the pressures of moving away from home and living independently for the first time. A huge part of education is preparing young people for adult life and it is right that we teach them what to expect for life after school, whether that’s at university, work or an apprenticeship.

“Whilst the majority of that focus is on the knowledge and skills needed to get qualifications, it is also important that we teach our young people the life skills they need like managing finances and understanding healthy relationships, as well as helping them to build character and resilience to be equipped to cope with the everyday challenges in life.”

Richard Smith, Unite Students CEO, said: “Every year we welcome over 50,000 students into their new home as they make the leap to university. For many this is one the most important and exciting moments in their lives but it’s also a time of uncertainty. We see first-hand the challenges they experience as they make this important transition.

“We believe that resilience is vital in young people and that given the right opportunities and experiences, young people can build resilience. The better prepared young people are for the transition to university, the easier they will find managing the highs and the lows often involved in this leap.

“That’s why we feel so strongly about creating the Leapskills programme and offering it for free to schools across the UK. Building resilience in our young people is crucial to their experience of university and their life beyond. We welcome the Secretary of State’s support for Leapskills and the part we are playing in providing all students with the opportunity to thrive.”

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