Help for kids to be offered after support grant ends at Parkside Pupil Referral Unit in Ipswich

Children at work in a classroom.

Children at work in a classroom. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Bosses at a school for children with additional needs have reassured parents after a £340,000 Lottery grant which supported pupils to find college places finished.

Parkside Pupil Referral Unit helps children between the ages of 11 and 16 who have been referred by educational psychologists as mainstream schooling would not be appropriate.

Since 2011 the school, off Spring Road in Ipswich, has benefited from £342,522 of Big Lottery funding for its Moving On project.

But that money, which helped students find college or training places and supported them after leaving Parkside, is finishing in August.

Libby Page, acting headteacher at the school, said plans were in place to support pupils from September,

“The lotto funding was provided for a set period of four years – ending in August 2015,” she said. “The funding was not pulled, it was always due to end in August as agreed.

“Plans are in place to ensure young people receive the continuity of service and support they need throughout their next academic year, starting in September.”

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Parent Tracey Parsley said Moving On was a fantastic project which supported pupils who could be apprehensive about studying at a large college.

A spokeswoman for the Big Lottery Fund said: “We awarded £342,522 Lottery funding to Parkside Pupil Referral Unit for its Moving On project over four years in 2011.

“Grants are provided over fixed-term periods, with projects encouraged to consider their future funding to sustain the project after our funding has ended. Existing projects are eligible to submit applications for further funding.”

In recent years the Government has increased the age to which all young people must continue in education or training.

Since 2013, youngsters up to the age of 17 were affected, with the age going up to 18 this year.

If you have an education story call Matt Hunter on 01473 324802 or email