Learning Collaboration with Veloheads

This year, The Grove Academy is developing an exciting new educational project in close collaboration with a local cycle repair business, Veloheads, to provide an apprenticeship-style education, and a second chance to succeed, for its young people.


Based in the Veloheads' workshop in Starbeck, the aim is to develop the Veloheads' site as a place where excluded young people who are interested in pursuing a vocational career can learn a range of workshop and engineering skills that will prepare them for the workplace. The project also hopes to re-engage and motivate young people, and give them back a sense of pride, achievement and self-belief.


The project has created a more' adult' training environment that demands the high standards of behaviour and commitment of a workplace. Indeed, one current student who was excluded from school and is enjoying success now, says that Veloheads has worked for him because "It feels like a grown-up workplace, not school".


The collaboration builds on the school's already successful relationship with local businessman, Carl Nelson, proprietor of Veloheads. Frustrated by the lack of vocational opportunities in the local area for under 16's, both TGA and Veloheads staff are working hard to evolve a new alternative educational opportunities for young people for whom the traditional education setting has not worked. Carl Nelson's motivation is particularly personal as he watched in frustration as his own son struggled and became demotivated at school.


Thus the staff at TGA@Veloheads share a passionate commitment to improving the life-chances of the young people in their care.  Staff recognise that a great deal of the practical skills and talent in our young people goes unrecognised in schools where the emphasis is often on a restrictively academic curriculum.


TGA@Veloheads recognise that this curriculum is not appropriate for all young people and looks to put together individualised learning programmes for each of its students. TGA is proud of its record in ensuring successful post-16 outcomes for its students. The collaboration builds on this proud record and benefits from both the commercial and vocational experience of the Veloheads' staff and teaching skills of TGA staff.


TGA@Veloheads students have the opportunity to study a range of ASDAN and functional skill courses, as well as develop the appropriate personal qualities and social skills that will enable them to thrive in a post-16 college or work-based environment. Students will leave with a portfolio of certificates and work-related skills that will make them attractive to local employers.


TGA believes that it is vitally important that alternative educational pathways need to be developed for such young people if they are to succeed in life and contribute positively to society.