Young people who have offended are on the path to rehabilitation thanks to an intensive course running this summer.
Summer Arts Colleges are designed to help young people improve their literacy and numeracy skills and achieve a nationally accredited qualification through the Arts Award.
The colleges guide under-18s who have either just left custody or are on tough community sentences, back into mainstream education, training and employment.
Run by youth offending teams with support from Unitas, they are funded by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and Arts Council England (ACE).
The colleges have been running for five years and seen spectacular results. Last year 70% of attendees increased both their literacy and numeracy scores and 75% of those that completed the programme found a job or education placement in the following month.
Young people have to complete a minimum of 25 hours attendance per week, excluding breaks, for the three to six week course making it one of the most intensive programmes on offer.
For most participants attendance was a condition of their order but last year 323 young people participated, the highest since the programme began and 96% of young people went on to achieve the Arts award.
Frances Done, Chair of the YJB, on visiting young people at Ealing Youth Offending Service’s Summer Arts College said:
“I am very impressed with the Summer Arts Colleges ability to engage some of the most challenging young people and help them towards achieving more positive outcomes. Young people who are not in education, training or employment are far more likely to reoffend, and programmes such as the Summer Arts Colleges offer real hope towards breaking their cycle of offending.”