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Latest "Second Chance School" opens in England

Mrs Edith Cresson, European Commissioner responsible for research, innovation, education, training and youth, along with David Blunkett, the UK's Education Secretary, opened a "Second Chance School" in Leeds, United Kingdom, on 3 March 1998. This is the first such school to be...
Mrs Edith Cresson, European Commissioner responsible for research, innovation, education, training and youth, along with David Blunkett, the UK's Education Secretary, opened a "Second Chance School" in Leeds, United Kingdom, on 3 March 1998. This is the first such school to be inaugurated in the United Kingdom, and brings the total of Member States participating in the Second Chance Schools pilot project to eleven.

The city of Leeds was selected for this pilot project out of 26 local and regional applicants in the UK. Each of these applied directly to the Commission following the publication of the White Paper on Education and Training adopted by the Commission in 1995. Second Chance Schools were proposed within the framework of the third objective outlined in the White Paper: combating exclusion.

The second chance schools are designed to combat the inability of traditional education to meet the needs of certain disadvantaged groups in society. Where young people have not obtained qualifications through the existing school system, the second chance schools will offer them a chance to obtain qualifications in a different environment. The nature of these second chance schools will vary according to conditions and needs defined at local and national level, but there will be certain key characteristics in common, including:

- Partnerships between local authorities, social services and public and private sector enterprises;
- A teaching approach, targeting individual needs and encouraging active and constructive learning;
- Acquiring skills in informatics and new technologies;
- The schools will be located in disadvantaged areas where young people facing great problems live.

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