Alternative route to college for local teenager


A teenager from Gwavas who was excluded from mainstream education has secured a place at Penwith College after completing his studies with a Youth Worker at Penwith Community Development Trust (PCDT).

Thomas Mulliss, aged 16, was referred to PCDT by a Careers South West adviser after being excluded from school for a second time. He was able to continue his studies at PCDT through an online learning portal provided by Acorn Academy. Working alongside Youth Worker Rob Bradshaw, Thomas not only received one-to-one learning support but also benefited from mentoring and pastoral support too.

Between October 2014 and May 2015 Rob spent five days a week working with Thomas and during that time he saw a real change in Thomas’ behaviour. “When I started working with Thomas, he was withdrawn, shy and not very happy or outgoing. He didn’t like working in groups. But during his time here, he started to come out of his shell and he’s now more confident and has a more positive attitude. He smiles a lot more and will have a laugh and a joke with me.”

Whilst Thomas struggled to succeed at school, studying in a one-to-one setting proved to be a positive experience for him. He completed his studies with 100% attendance, he sat all of his exams and even gained the confidence to apply to college. Thomas said “Rob was really supportive and he never judged me. He was better than any teacher I’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to starting the Motor Mechanics course at Penwith College in September.”

Based on the success of this method of learning, PCDT and Acorn Academy are hoping to help more students like Thomas during the next academic year.

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