Yvette Cooper MP

Working hard for Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford & Knottingley

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Yvette and local Crime Commissioner voice their support for CHOICE Programme

Local MP Yvette Cooper and West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson attended a special ‘graduation’ ceremony for Knottingley pupils at Simpson’s Lane Academy and voiced their support for the work of the programme and the staff and students who’ve taken part.

Supported jointly by Carleton Community High School, Think Family and Wakefield District Housing and others and is run by local NPT officer PC Charlie Banks. 

The CHOICE programme targets children, who cannot access the curriculum, are at risk of underachievement or at risk of not entering education or employment post 16 and allows young people to become involved in a wide variety of vocational areas through ‘taster’ sessions and close interaction with College staff, police and fire officers and others.

In addition there is a 30 week intensive right from wrong choice timetable.

Activities in the CHOICES programme include the Explorers programme, a Fire Fighting Course, Railway safety course, Health education and an opportunity to experience what College life is like.

PC Charlie Banks said:

‘The choice course was devised by Annette Jones of Carleton Community College and is intended to help kids who are not achieving their full potential.

The course normally consists of 32 sessions, one a week, but my course has been twice a week for 16 weeks.

I’ve been working with 12 students from local schools we’ve achieved some brilliant results and all of the kids have improved if only in a small way.’

Yvette Cooper MP said:

“I think what PC Charlie Banks and the other police and staff who run the programme have been doing is fantastic at supporting local pupils who can benefit from extra help and opportunities.
“The students I spoke to really enjoyed the sessions. This is why we need local neighbourhood police officers who really know the community and can be great role models for young people too."

Mark Burns-Williamson said:

“This programme allows students to experience what it is like to be part of the emergency services, whether that be police officers or fire fighters, or in other vocational areas.

“It is important that we treat all young people as the citizens they are, valuing their interests and opinions as much as any other group in the community.

“Programmes such as this are an essential way of engaging young people and encourages them to fulfil their potential.”


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