In direct response to the pandemic and the evolving needs of Surrey’s young people, GASP piloted a new format of delivery, inviting individual referrals to create mixed cohorts for their practical mechanics-based courses. Referrals have come from the Youth Justice team, Surrey County Council, Short-Stay Schools and parents. The demand for spaces has been overwhelming and is indicative of the huge educational gaps and inequality the pandemic has exacerbated.
The HSYA grant enabled GASP to trial these courses, and then to expand the group size. Very shortly two courses were running with 6 young people on each. Due to the support needs of the group and the disparity of ability, GASP has allocated an additional member of staff to improve the ratio to 1:2. This facilitates greater practical learning and engagement; and encourages positive mentor/mentee relationships.
“I like coming to GASP and getting to know the tools and how to be a mechanic. But even if I don’t do it as a job, I’ll know how to look after my own bike. It’s much better than school because there it’s all pens and paper, but here you have tools in your hand. It’s different – it’s more relaxing, but you still get to learn stuff.” Excluded pupil, May 2021.
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