Jon Egging Trust students play host to Lincolnshire MP

Jon Egging Trust students play host to Lincolnshire MP

Lincs MP Dr Caroline Johnson (c) and JET CEO, Dr Emma Egging OBE (l) are hosted by JET students at St George’s Academy, Ruskington 

Students from St George’s Academy, Ruskington, played host to a VIP guest last week when local MP, Dr Caroline Johnson, dropped in on a confidence-building Blue Skies session.

JET’s Blue Skies programmes boost aspiration and work-readiness in young people who are struggling to engage in the classroom; supporting vulnerable youngsters, ages 11 – 16, for up to three years. Dr Johnson was invited to take part in the session by JET CEO, Dr Emma Egging OBE, who has helped JET develop a strong relationship with schools across Lincolnshire for the past decade.

“It was fantastic to be able to introduce Caroline to our work and our students last Friday, and we’re grateful for her support” says Emma. “Demonstrating the impact of our programmes to local and central government is vital for us as we expand our programmes. In the wake of the pandemic, there are a growing number of young people struggling at school and underachieving as a result – we estimate at least 500,000 across the UK – but we cannot grow our programmes in order to respond to this need, without increasing our funding base.”

Following the visit, Dr Johnson, who is MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, says she is now keen to help the Trust raise awareness of the importance of its work:

“I saw first-hand how JET’s programmes can improve not only the confidence of the young people who take part, but how this in turn improves their overall attitude to learning and their further aspirations for training and employment opportunities after they leave school. These skills will be incredibly important to draw upon as the pupils begin to plan for their future progression and eventual careers.”

JET programmes in action at St George’s Academy, Ruskington

The confidence-building session was run by JET’s local youth team manager, Nicola Ingamells, who say it was the students themselves who came up with the basis for the session, having asked for support with forward-planning, problem solving and decision-making. Nicola says that hosting Caroline as their guest, and being given the opportunity to involve her in the session was also a valuable experience for the students: “It is amazing when JET students begin to see that their opinions and voices matter,” says Nicola.

“Through JET’s programmes we empower young people to make decisions within sessions and have confidence in their choices and ideas, so it was great to see them interacting with their VIP visitor with such competence and confidence; I am very proud of them all.”

Judy Johnson, Learning Mentor at St George’s Academy, says the school’s JET students were delighted to host Dr Johnson.

“JET brings so much to our students,” says Judy. “We take a baseline score at the start of the programme which covers areas including confidence, leadership skills, raising aspirations and teamwork.  We then retake the scores at the end of the programme and the difference is amazing!  I am always delighted by the improvements in so many areas; this then transfers back into classroom which in turn improves attendance, behaviours and achievement.”

JET programmes in action at St George’s Academy, Ruskington