Students’ lives changed through alternative education

As enrolments for 2020 open at the Tomaree campus of the award winning Alesco Senior College, graduating students are encouraging young people to consider a different pathway to completing high school. In the past three years, more than 60 young people who were at risk of not completing their school education, are now creating exciting employment and further education outcomes for themselves.

Alesco student, Zephyr said that Alesco was different and a good alternative that helped students get through high school.“People who don’t fit in at school or find it hard to attend for a lot of reasons, find Alesco a safe place. Teachers are here to help you. Classes are smaller and students support each other. So many of us might never have completed school if it wasn’t for Alesco,” he said.

Typically, students of Alesco have not been able to connect with traditional schooling, are at risk, or vulnerable. Alesco Senior College provides young people who are unlikely to find success in a traditional school environment with a safe and supportive environment in an adult learning framework. Alesco is a registered and accredited school that was created by Atwea College (formerly WEA Hunter) in 2001 as an alternative learning environment for young people wanting to complete years 9 to 12 with located in Newcastle, Tuncurry, Cessnock, Raymond Terrace and Tomaree with another campus soon to open in Lake Macquarie.

More than 60 local young people have completed their school studies at the Tomaree campus with many of them now moving into jobs and some graduating into further studies.

Alesco Head Teacher, Wendy Ratcliffe, who has been working with the school since it was established, said that the campus was established three years through a partnership with PCYC, Council and the community and has resulted in great education outcomes for local teenagers.

“Alesco is logical and supportive and is about providing the right educational outcomes for young people. At the Austral Street, Nelson Bay school, students engage in educational pathways where barriers to completing secondary education are limited. That means that students are provided with ways and means that best suit their individual learning needs while also equipping them with ways to negotiate the challenges of school and their lives,” she said.

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