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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.

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

A tool for an easier transition
Students are facing lots of disruption at the moment – home schooling, no exams, changes to their routines – which makes the transition to post-16 education, apprenticeships and work more challenging. The website provides students and parents/carers with the reassurance they need and the information to make the right choice for their young person.

Flying Start presents students with nine steps to follow as they complete each one. From reviewing study skill exercises to creating an online CV and profile – students will have what they need to transition into college, apprenticeships or employment.

The site also includes information on how to access careers guidance and useful mental health resources. Student feedback has shaped the development of Flying Start with a clear need to provide subject-specific information. Over time, the website will evolve to include all areas of study to help prepare students for a variety of college courses.

What the schools say about the website
Simon Barrable, principal at Portsmouth College championed the initiative: “Flying Start is a great idea to bring much-needed support and learning materials to year 11s across the city and beyond. We are delighted to have been able to make this happen, working with a wide range of local partners.”

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 and 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 this uncertainty, Flying Start will be a great help for all year 11s.”

Supporting our young people
Portsmouth City Council continues to support local residents – including young people. Flying Start is an important part of efforts to help year 11s who are worried about their options.

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 is crucial at any time, but especially at the moment when the normal processes have been disrupted.”

“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

More information on Flying Start