As a country we have become desensitised to an education system that fails so many young people: those from disadvantaged backgrounds, those from minority ethnic groups and those who have become disillusioned with a system that is no longer fit for purpose.
Rekindle aims to reimagine education, re-engage young people and revitalise the curriculum. Focusing on the key areas of Support, Nourishment, Achievement and Protection, we will craft an education that embraces critical thinking, cultural awareness and relatable role models.
Rekindle is best-placed to deliver this work because at the forefront of its operation is a group of passionate, hardworking and diverse young people who have a lived experience similar to that of the young people we will target.
The Youth Advisory Team at Rekindle knows what it’s like to become disillusioned with an education that doesn’t engage children from deprived and minority ethnic backgrounds. Out of 27 schools in the South Manchester area 11 of those schools are performing significantly below average and 10 are barely performing in line with the national average. (Figures from gov.uk).
Among Rekindle’s founding team are young people who were on free school meals, students who attended some of the most poorly-achieving schools in Manchester and students who recognised that the system is not built to support the likes of them. From creating the curriculum to imagining the school, young people have been placed at the heart of everything.
Already having the support of Manchester Metropolitan University and the knowledge and experience of what the communities of South Manchester need, puts Rekindle in the unique position of being best-placed to lead this change. Founder Ruth Ibegbuna has worked in the deprived communities of South Manchester for many years. She has gained a reputation of trust and respect from those young people; she is often nicknamed the ‘Aunty of the North’.
These communities, although friendly, are not always accommodating to ‘do gooders’. Institutions have often failed them before. Already having this trust and having an honest familiarity with these communities will take us a long way. Rekindle has the skills to rebuild broken bridges and allow young people to fall back in love with education.