Schools and universities link up to give 'earn as you learn' option to students

Students are being offered jobs to stay and work at their schools while taking a university degree course as part of an attempt to encourage those from low-income homes into higher education.

The pioneering project has been running for four years at Monkseaton High School, a comprehensive in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, and is now being offered to schools, colleges and employers nationwide.

The scheme allows students to work as laboratory technicians, classroom assistants or computer software managers at schools, earning up to £6,000 a year while studying for an Open University degree. Some believe it is a major innovation in attracting young people from disadvantaged communities to opt for higher education as it offers the chance to earn and learn, rather than leave school for a job, or enter full-time higher education.

It may also, according to Paul Kelley, the headteacher at Monkseaton, help to provide incentives to teenagers who, from 2013, will have to stay in some form of education until they are 18.

Those who join the project are limited to working for 20 to 25 hours a week to give them enough time for their studies. They can enlist the help of staff at the school if they need to.

Jimmy Baldwin, 20, who is studying for a science degree under the scheme, said: "This is the perfect way to study – you've got money and you get educated at the same time. My parents aren't super rich. I've got their support but not financially. You get that pressure from your mum and dad: 'How long are you going to stay in this house and not make any money?' Now that's gone and it's good for family life."

Suzanne Watson, also 20, is studying to be a teacher through the scheme. She left school after taking her AS-levels to do a round-the-world trip but returned to study for an English language and literature degree. She then plans to take a PGCE course to gain a teaching certificate.

"My fiancé is studying for a degree through the traditional route but he is having to work at a call centre to finance his studies," she said.

The Open University has given its blessing to the scheme, and Margaret Chaytor, who is co-ordinator of the project for the organisation, says she has been involved in talks with other schools and public-sector employers to extend its reach. "Working and studying this way – that's a motivator. Students can see the relevance of what they're doing," she said.

" There's been a lot of interest in it. It offers much more experience in life skills than somebody who has gone from A-level to university."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?