Walsall for All to re-launch School Linking programme in September
With schools across the borough set to return to full occupancy in September, Walsall for All, a partnership programme between the Council, voluntary groups, the public and private sectors, plan a relaunch of their successful Schools Linking programme at a time when sharing different perspectives and experiences are more important and valuable than ever.
The Walsall programme was launched in the autumn of 2018 and by 2019-20 numbers increased to 24 classes with 13 new schools joining, engaging an amazing 676 pupils. The programme went exceptionally well, with Walsall for All staff providing additional advice, guidance and support to the schools as well as the additional support of new delivery partners such as Walsall FC and the New Art Gallery.
In January, Walsall was privileged to receive a high profile visit by representatives of Italian civil society and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A group of 7 educators, public and third sector professionals joined in our special link day at Walsall FC. Mike Collyer, an experienced youth worker facilitated a series of exercises between pupils from the 2 schools exploring issues about identity, personality and belonging within the luxurious surroundings of the 1888 Club Hospitality Lounge. Both schools host pupils of Bengali-Italian heritage and valuable discussions took place about integration and diversity within both an Italian and UK context. Pupils from both schools were treated to a one to one chat with Liam Kinsella, one of the club’s key strikers and explored the career potential of working within the sports industry.
Walsall for All says that in the world of post-Coronavirus lockdown with its increased awareness of inequality, highlighted by both the disproportionate impact of the virus on certain communities and the Black Lives Matter movement, programmes such as this will be vital for young people to explore these issues by taking part in activities as well as enabling them to share their unique experiences.
With government guidelines around social distancing and safety at the forefront of schools re-opening the programme has had to reassess its delivery methods, investigating digital linking and social mixing in safe space environments.
Please get in touch to find out more.
Contact: Amelia Whitehouse Amelia.Whitehouse@walsall.gov.uk