Published On: September 22, 2022|531 words|2.7 min read|

Progress Schools, a leading provider of alternative provision education, is set to officially cut the ribbon on its brand-new school on Friday 23 September 2022.

After two framework agreements were signed by the Department for Education, Progress Schools launched the alternative provision facility in the combined authority of Tees Valley in April 2022. The school, located in Eston, serves Middlesborough, Darlington, Redcar, and Cleveland.

The move is the first venture into the North-East for the Liverpool-headquartered alternative education provider. Progress Schools has converted a former medical centre, adjusting rooms to increase classroom sizes and 50 student places are available.

The Eston site acts as a ‘hub’ for the local area with Progress Schools potentially launching more North-East schools in the future.

Progress Schools operates a number of independent alternative provision schools across England, supporting more than 250 young people and aim ‘to be at the heart of the education landscape to provide opportunities for those who have been through the most’.

Alternative education is arranged by Local Authorities or schools for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness, or other reasons, would not otherwise receive a suitable education.

With a shortage of provisions in the area, the Progress Schools’ school will help to fill the gap in offering a quality, registered Alternative Education provision for secondary school aged pupils in the Teeside area.

The education provider began welcoming students through its doors on Monday 25 April, after receiving the green light from Ofsted, which carried out a pre-registration inspection.

The provider has announced plans to hold an official opening event on Friday 23 September.

The event boasts quite an impressive guest list. So far, attendees include Mary Lanigan, Head of Redcar, and Cleveland council; Andy Preston, Mayor of Middlesborough; Michelle Stelling, Assessment & Quality Assurance Manager for Middlesborough Local Authority.

The official opening will see Mary Lanigan and Jacob Young cut the ribbon to the new school and is the perfect opportunity for attendees to understand more about Progress Schools’ mission.

The school currently has 13 pupils on role, supported by six full-time staff members. Students can study a range of vocational and academic qualifications with a curriculum in place to support their individual needs.

Progress Schools’ Interim Managing Director, Charlotte Barton, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our alternative provision, launching our first North-East based school.

“Our ethos centres around our commitment to supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in the local area. We want to provide those children with a high-quality alternative provision that supports them to achieve their potential.

“Our bespoke curriculum is designed to meet the needs of each young person and provides them with a wealth of opportunities that support them in their next steps. This school is a pivotal moment for us as we continue our quest to ensure every young person has access to the education they deserve.”

Since its inception in 2016, Progress Schools have become a leading alternative provision provider across England, with a growing national footprint.

Progress Schools strives to improve the alternative provision available for young people. In 2021, Progress Schools visited the Houses of Parliament to call on the government to crack down on unregistered alternative provision providers and tighten the definition of what constitutes a school.

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