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Trust Launches Partnership with YBS to help Students to Make the Grade

Yorkshire Building Society and The Southfield Grange Trust in Bradford have entered a new three-year partnership which aims to inspire students’ creativity and boost their job prospects.   

The relationship forms part of Ahead Partnership’s Make the Grade network. Ahead Partnership are a social enterprise that connects businesses and communities to create social and economic change.

The Southfield Grange Trust oversees the running of two schools, Southfield School and Grange Technology College, and is located at its modern campus in Little Horton, Bradford. 

Dominic Wall, Headteacher of Southfield School, said: “Working with Yorkshire Building Society and Ahead Partnership is an exciting development for The Southfield Grange Trust which will enable students from both Southfield School and Grange Technology College to access a range of high quality work related learning and employability opportunities.

“For Southfield School, this is a ground breaking partnership as it becomes the first special school to take part in the Make the Grade programme. It is a continuation of the school’s commitment to equipping students with learning disabilities for a future in meaningful employment.  At Grange Technology College, Make the Grade is a central feature of a wider programme of extended opportunities which will complement the curriculum and provide students with work-related learning across all key stages.”  

Louise Neill (YBS), Grange students Bilal Sait and Isha Shakeel, Sophie Armstrong from Ahead Partnership, Abbas Khan and Jessica Ginelli from Southfield

As part of the programme Louise Neill, Community Volunteering Manager for Yorkshire Building Society, has become one of the newest governors at Grange Technology College.

Louise said: “I am very excited about the launch of this new partnership, and it seemed like a natural fit when the opportunity to become a Governor presented itself. It will provide me with insights into the needs that the pupils may require for future employability-skills and to help shape the three-year Make the Grade so that it best benefits students.

“We have some exciting workshops and events coming up for this school year which include mentoring for students, CV building and interview sessions as well as financial education sessions. We are proud of our Yorkshire roots and we want to help future generations contribute to the future success of our local communities.”

Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership said, “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Yorkshire Building Society and The Southfield Grange Trust in Bradford and I look forward to seeing the partnership develop over the foreseeable future.”

The Southfield Grange Trust is part of a wider Make the Grade network of businesses and schools across West and South Yorkshire. The network is equipping students with employability skills and careers information to help them succeed in working life.

Make the Grade has built a diverse network of businesses and every year organises the delivery of a structured programme of employability activities that is tailored to the school’s needs.

Since its launch in 2011, Make the Grade has enabled 23,488 young people across West and South Yorkshire to work with over 220 businesses, with 2000 volunteers supporting more than 200 different activities.