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  • A:Westside School, Galena House, 8-30 Galena Road, London W6 0LT
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Pathways Guidance Programme

As part of the individual support we give Westside students, we consider it important that such focus is not lost after GCSEs have been sat. After the safe environment of Westside, students often need encouragement and support in taking the next step: applying to college or to a training scheme, or opening up funding streams so that they can access further education opportunities.

We are committed to providing that support for all students at Westside and to continuing that support for their college or training applications after they leave. With the generous funding of the Rank Foundation, we have put in place a Pathways Guidance Officer.

Pathways Guidance Officer

We now offer personalised career advice to each student, in every year, in one-to-one sessions with the Pathways Guidance Officer, whose duties include:

  • One-to-one sessions, starting with current Year 11 students, in order to tailor-make careers advice, taking into account all learning and behavioural needs;
  • Working with each student on interview techniques and public speaking, to build up confidence and increase engagement;
  • Comprehensive individual support with college and training scheme applications – this may include site visits with students to prospective further colleges etc
  • Building and developing an alumni tracking system, including an alumni social network and buddy-system 

Why are our alumni so important to Westside?

At Westside, it is part of our Vision and Ethos that we educate the whole student. That education cannot simply stop when our students leave. It is our aim to continue providing support to ease the transition of the Westside graduate into the world of either further education, employment or training. 

At the same time, some of our more confident alumni stay in touch with Westside and become role models to the students coming up after them. One such alumnus, a qualified mechanic who was at Westside in 2009, felt such loyalty towards the school that he then worked as a teaching assistant here at the school. For students who arrive as school refusers and hard-to-reach learners, the knowledge that Westside has a clear track record in helping young people like themselves to get on in life is more motivating than any reward scheme or government accolade. Having the ability to track alumni and to support them beyond Year 11  allows Westside to build on its own legacy of attainment and success for young people, and to inspire the year groups coming up behind them and thereby sustain that legacy.

For us, best practice in working with vulnerable young people is to make that individual support consistent and available even after they have left our core GCSE provision. In this way, we ensure their most effective transition into employment or training, an end result which demonstrates the basic sustainability of our methods: transforming a student’s previous lack of progress into ultimate employability.