Nine to five school will mean business

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A NEW school where youngsters wear business clothes and work nine to five is being planned in Hemel Hempstead.

The school will be laid out like an office – with pupils doing paid work each week with local firms – and rather than long school holidays time off will have to be booked.

The idea is to take teenagers aged 14 to 19 who are not doing well in traditional schools and offer them a different environment with an emphasis on work-related skills.

The scheme is the brainchild of Hemel Hempstead-based charity WorldShapers and it will be called the WorldShapers Studio School, tapping into the Studio School movement.

Project development officer Les Acton said: “The idea of Studio Schools came out of employers forever saying kids are leaving school and don’t have the employability skills they are looking for.

“The youth unemployment rate is going up and up. Youngsters don’t fit in and thrive within the existing system.

“There are businesses out there in Maylands and elsewhere that have the vacancies but are having difficulty filling them, particularly with youngsters.”

Mr Acton says they have identified a site for the school in a ‘deprived area’, which they hope to open next year, but they are waiting for permission from the government to go ahead. To offer support or learn more call 01442 269804.

Studio Schools are state schools and non fee-paying but have the status of academies, meaning they get their funding direct from government.

WorldShapers made a bid to open a Scandinavian-style school called Thrive last year but it was turned down by Whitehall.