Independent School

About the School

Manchester Young Lives Independent School provided the next exciting chapter in our organisation’s development, culminating in achieving Independent School status in 2010.

MYL provide alternative education for students who are not attending mainstream education for a variety of reasons, including those who are at risk of permanent exclusion from their home school and who have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, some with SEN and learning difficulties.

We offer support and guidance for non-attenders and vulnerable students who are the subject of multi-agency concern. Our team of experienced and dedicated teachers and teaching assistants provide an open and focused learning environment which is characterised by its high levels of pastoral support for young people.

Our Provision

MYL are commissioned by and work closely with Manchester Secondary Pupil Referral Unit, and work at three MYL locations.

The A6 Education Centre in Ardwick and The Addy Young People’s Centre in Wythenshawe provide full time secondary education provision for Key Stage 4, and provide a focused curriculum of core GCSE and Functional Skills subjects. Our broad and balanced curriculum is enhanced by a varied enrichment programme of performing arts, sports and cultural activities.

Our provision for Key Stage 3, based at our Moss Side Adventure Playground, proving Year 9 students with barriers to their learning with a broad and balanced curriculum that includes core subjects of English, Maths and Science as well as History, Art, Geography and Sport, we aim to give our students a fully rounded education that will support them as they progress to Key Stage 4 with MYL, or re-integrating to mainstream education.

With an emphasis on Personal, Social and Health Education and one-on-one personal development, we pride ourselves on a concern for the whole person, and accommodating different learning styles. Our students are encouraged to take an active role in their school life, from the setting of behaviour targets to careers and work experience.

We offer a wide ranging and balanced curriculum which includes a varied programme of practical enrichment activities and educational visits, shifting the focus from classroom-based learning to a holistic learning approach. As we develop each academic year, we are including more vocational and skills based courses for those students of a more vocational inclination, without reducing their core targets for literacy and numeracy, especially for those students who wish to progress to work based training and apprenticeships.

Our Approach

School Development

MYL’s School finds its origins in a 1997 National Lottery funded youth work project at the A6 Education Centre (formerly known as Longsight Adventure Playground). Although initially aimed at unemployed young people, the scheme drew most interest from school non-attenders up to age 16. This, along with concerns from Ofsted around the levels of non-attendance in the city, led to the creation of a local partnership known as School Otherwise, which launched in 1999.

School Otherwise was developed to provide informal education, aimed at promoting re-entry to school by young people. Working closely with local schools such as Cedar Mount and Ellen Wilkinson High, the project saw 50% of its participants return to part or full-time school between 1999 and 2000.

Following the success of this project, MYL continued to develop its provision of education with targeted and focused outreach work, and also for larger groups within its centres. Under the co-ordination of the late Anne Simmons, our inspirational school leader who had been a key part of School Otherwise, tutors continued delivering sessions at Ardwick and Moss Side, moving towards entering students for various qualifications and accreditations.

The approach proved highly successful and in 2010 the next logical step was to register Manchester Young Lives as an independent school. Initially sourcing referrals from local schools, many accommodated by an intensive support facility at our Wythenshawe site, MYL soon established a strong relationship with Manchester Secondary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). We now receive all our referrals exclusively from the PRU and will continue to work closely with them to tackle exclusion and improve the opportunities of some of Manchester’s more vulnerable young people.

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