St Dunstan’s College, Lewisham Council and Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) announce new partnership
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St Dunstan’s College, Lewisham Council and Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) are delighted to announce a new partnership, establishing the Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA).

The Academy has been established in response to research and evidence showing disparities in attainment and outcomes for Black Caribbean and dual heritage (Black Caribbean/White) children and young people, not just in Lewisham, but throughout London and the UK. 

Lewisham Young Leaders Academy will offer additional support to young people from across Lewisham, through transformative teaching in life skills, including leadership, teamwork, presentation skills and CV building.

Young people will be invited to enroll for the scheme through their school or other networks connected to the programme. The sessions will initially take place on Saturday mornings and will be run by an experienced team of educators who have already enjoyed success with a similar project in west London, the Westside Young Leaders Academy.

Lewisham Council is funding the project and St Dunstan’s College will be providing free use of its facilities.

Speaking about the partnership with Lewisham Council and Westside Young Leaders Academy, Nicholas Hewlett, Head of St Dunstan’s College said: ‘It is fantastic that the Council here in Lewisham are able to see the potential of working together with schools such as ours. We can likewise see the enormous benefit of being more deeply embedded within the community of Lewisham, and the impact WYLA has already had on countless young people is phenomenal. We look forward to learning from our partners about the important work we are undertaking and how it can be developed in the future.

‘This project has enormous potential for growth and development, and we look forward to trailblazing how private schools can have genuine educational impact on the broader community in which they are based and particularly for minority groups who are in specific need of targeted support.’

A spokesperson for the new Lewisham Young Leaders Academy said:

‘At Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA), we are excited to offer the young people of the Borough some of the very best tried and tested leadership programmes and experiences. We will be working in partnership with St Dunstan’s and Lewisham Council. This partnership will provide the newly enrolled "Young Leaders" with new challenges and opportunities which will aid their development into the next generation of leaders.’

Cllr Chris Barnham, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and School Performance at Lewisham Council said:

‘Our children and young people are the future of Lewisham, and we want them all to succeed, to achieve all that they can, and to seize the opportunities available to them in the modern economy, and the world city that is London.

‘Developing skills such as leadership, communications and presentation is key to succeeding in life, and that is why programmes such as the Lewisham Youth Leadership Academy are so important.  Part of the work we are doing to tackle race inequalities in education is to ensure all young people no matter their background can access high-quality training and learning programmes such as this.  I’m excited to meet more of our future leaders as this programme develops!’

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