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New schools partnership aimed at improving grit and resilience

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A football club’s charity has teamed up with a local school for a pioneering new partnership aimed at helping improve pupils’ resilience.

Albion in the Community (AITC) currently works with more than 100 schools across Sussex, providing after school sport sessions, PE support, healthy eating clubs and football-themed numeracy and literacy lessons.

Now the charity is expanding that work by pairing up with Patcham High School to provide a full-time member of staff who will be based at the Ladies Mile Road school.

The Grit and Resilience Co-ordinator will help some of the school’s most disadvantaged pupils and should the pilot programme prove successful, AITC will look to deliver a similar arrangement at schools elsewhere in the county.

Many of Patcham High’s pupils are keen Seagulls fans and AITC will look to use that passion to bring out the best in students by highlighting real-life examples of grit and resilience from the club’s recent history, such as the on-going battle to win promotion to the Premier League or the Albion’s fight to find a permanent home in the city.

The school will pay for the role by using the money it receives in Pupil Premium funding – a grant designed to be used to help raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers.

Paul Williams, schools manager at AITC, said: “We are delighted to be working with Patcham High School in this unique and innovative way. The school’s ambitious plans to improve the grit and resilience of their students strongly match the ethos of our charity – to engage and inspire pupils and help them reach their sporting and academic potential.

“We’re excited to pilot this approach and are very hopeful about the impact it will have on local students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

John McKee, Patcham High’s head teacher, was equally enthusiastic about the partnership. He said: “We are always looking for creative ways to engage our students with their learning and jumped at the chance to pilot a Grit and Resilience initiative with Albion in the Community.

“It’s an exciting time for the school. This is a partnership that is going to have a hugely positive impact on our students.”

The two organisations are now recruiting for the post. The ideal candidate would have experience in sports coaching, outdoor education or youth work.

For more information on the Grit and Resilience Co-ordinator role, visit:

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