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
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

WORLDbytes: Two-Day Intensive Camera training and Shoot: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March

expenses on shoots: WORLDbytes: Volunteering with a media based charity,for a ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 4 Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A school in Tameside is currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are currently looking for ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn