Islington Council wants to stop youngsters from deprived households from taking weekend jobs that prevent them concentrating on their studies. The council initially wants to offer classes at a local further education college to 60 children.
The students, borderline GCSE candidates from two of the borough's schools, will have to sign a contract with their parents, committing them to the four-year "Upward Bound" scheme, which aims to encourage students to go on to university. If successful, it will be extended to Islington's other seven secondary schools, which come near the bottom of the national exam league table.
Chris Jude, the borough's lifelong learning officer, said the scheme would compensate students for loss of earnings.
"We have an awful lot of youngsters in this country who get turned off school at an early age. Some of them come back later in life. But the cost of them coming back to further education colleges and doing what they should have done at school is immense."
Tom Jupp, the principal of City and Islington College, where the classes will be run, said the pounds 250 a year or so paid to students would offset their spending on travel and books.
t The Oscar-winning film producer Lord Puttnam is to head the new body that will regulate and speak for the teaching profession, the Government announced yesterday. He will chair the General Teaching Council for its first 18 months, from September next year.Reuse content