A college offering vocational training for those thinking of dropping out of school early has been launched in the southside.
Newlands Junior College (NJC) is a facility funded by both public and private money for an initial five years to offer alternative education to those aged 14-16 who find the secondary school system doesn’t suit them.
The college will take 30 pupils each year from southside schools and introduce them to an alternative approach to S3 and S4 years, combining academic subjects English, maths and IT with vocational training — in areas ranging from engineering and construction to hairdressing and digital media — as well as sports, nutrition and outdoor activities.
Students who complete the two year programme are also promised a guaranteed apprenticeship or college place.
NCJ was officially launched on Tuesday by Jim McColl, chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers, who trained as an apprentice engineer at the former Weird Pumps factory in Cathcart, where the facility is nearing completion.
He said: “My vision is to create a junior college for young teenagers that will give them support and opportunity to move into a successful and rewarding future.
“We’ve been working on it for the last two years. While the current academic system in secondary schools works for the majority of young people, it doesn’t work for a significant minority. I believe the Newlands Junior College model can supply that alternative path.”
Principal Iain White, former head teacher at Govan High School, added: “”We live in a changing world and it’s only reasonable that the education system changes to meet the needs of the 21st century.
“One of the bedrocks of the new Curriculum for Excellence is the whole notion of personalisation and choice to meet the needs and aspirations of the young person.
“Newlands Junior College will provide exciting opportunities for young people in the south of Glasgow that a few years ago could only be dreamt about.”