Schools mentoring programme gets extra funding

Ministry of Defence is investing a further £15.5m in a scheme that uses former
military personnel to act as mentors to school children at risk of exclusion.

initiative sets up former soldiers to tutor the youngsters and hopes to improve
the student’s future employment opportunities.

Skill Force programme has been running since 2000, and now involves some 2,500
14-16 year olds across the country.

Secretary Charles Clarke said the scheme was giving young people the
opportunity to re-engage with learning and improve their behaviour.

also said it had cut truancy rates of those on the scheme by 90 per cent at 100
secondary schools around the UK.

new funding will safeguard the programme until 2007.

By Ross Wigham

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