One of the biggest challenges facing the school sector is the retention and participation of students who for one reason or another are at risk of leaving school without any qualifications that will help them to have a positive future.

Secondary-Tertiary Partnerships (STPs or Trades Academies) play an important part in addressing this risk. STPs provide an alternative pathway for young people to gain skills and qualifications. They enable young people to combine school and tertiary study through a range of trades-based and technology training options. This means that our kids have more choices to explore and more opportunities to achieve.

STPs not only benefit our young people, they also give business and industry more opportunities to connect with education and provide local communities with a skilled workforce.

As this report shows, many kids are prepared to get up early and travel long distances in order to attend. This is a testament to how the students’ value the experiences they’re having at the STP and also reflects teacher commitment to helping some of our most vulnerable young people to achieve.

Iona Holsted

Chief Review Officer

Education Review Office

June 2015