A new online resource dedicated to year 11 students affected by school closures has launched. Flying Start is an impartial website built for young people in Portsmouth who need help to plan and prepare for their next steps.

In conjunction with Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth College, Highbury College, Havant & South Downs College and the Southern Universities Network, the website provides impartial information on further education, apprenticeships and future employment options in one place.

Students follow each stage of Flying Start as they learn what options are available to them. Young people are able to develop an online CV and profile to use for their college, apprenticeship or employment application.

The site also includes information on how to access careers guidance and useful mental health resources.

Student feedback has shown the importance of providing subject-specific information which will evolve over time, to help students prepare for a variety of college courses.

Simon Barrable, Principal at Portsmouth College championed the initiative:

Flying Start is a great initiative to bring much-needed support and learning materials to Year 11s across the city and beyond at this difficult time. We are delighted to have been able to make this happen, working with a wide range of local partners.”

The new initiative also provides parents/carers with a set of specialist resources to support young people at such a crucial time.

Penny Wycherley, interim principal and CEO of Highbury College supported the partnership: “It’s fantastic to be a part of the Flying Start initiative. The resources included are really invaluable to anyone looking to get set for college, explore their career options or improve their study skills.”

Mike Gaston, principal of Havant & South Downs College highlighted the importance of the resource: “We are very pleased to be supporting Year 11 pupils across Portsmouth as they begin to make the transition from school to college, an apprenticeship or employment. During these challenging times, Flying Start will be a great help for all Year 11s and we are looking forward to providing plenty of advice, resources and support in the coming weeks.”

Portsmouth City Council continues to support local residents – including young people. Flying Start is an important part of efforts to help year 11s during this time.

Cllr Suzy Horton explained the significance of such a launch:

The launch of Flying Start is essential – providing information at such an important moment in their lives. All organisations involved have a shared goal – ensuring Portsmouth students have the support they need to make vital decisions that will impact the next stage of their education.”

Visit the Flying Start website to view resources and help you plan for your next steps.


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