“Near to School
is successful in
challenging pupils
to self-reflect and
address whether
reconciliation is
necessary – either
in a home or school
setting. ”

Aileen Aitken Acting Area Head The Links College (South)

Near to School

Near to School is a programme for those students who are struggling in mainstream education.

The programme works in partnership with the school to help improve behaviour and engagement with education by overcoming the barriers students face such as:

  • Insecurity in their own identity
  • Low confidence
  • Lack of ability to relate to peers
  • Lack of the ability to relate to adults/ staff
  • Inability to take instructions
  • Consistent disruptive behaviour
  • Difficulties in showing emotions correctly
  • Anger difficulties 


Through a combination of time spent at Near to School and in school, this programme develops emotional and social skills, enabling the student to work in a team, to communicate effectively and to respond appropriately in all situations. It gives students a solid foundation on which to go back into school, giving them the capacity to deal with difficult situations in more appropriate and effective ways. They will learn new strategies and methods for dealing with challenging environments and situations, so that they gain more understanding of their role and responsibility in school. Our overriding aim is to equip students with the skills necessary to make better choices, more of the time. 


The timetable works over an 8 week period, using a combination of N2S days and normal school days. The N2S days are made up of 5 lessons and a short break and lunchtime which are supervised by N2S staff. Students will follow a specific curriculum including subjects such as self esteem, social skills, anger management, assertiveness, relationships and outdoor education. 

Outdoor Education 

Part of the programme's aims are to encourage and develop team skills and relationships. This is achieved through the Outdoor Education programme, which runs as part of the timetable on Friday afternoons. This will be led by a qualified instructor from Releasing Potential. 

Progress updates 

Throughout the duration of the programme, students will complete a progress diary, including written feedback from teachers at N2S and their own schools. In addition, the N2S Lead Teacher and Project Workers will regularly phone home to update parents and guardians. 

One to One Sessions 

Pupils will be involved in One to One sessions throughout the programme to monitor their individual progress and development. These sessions will take place once a week, either during Near to School time or back at school. 

External Agencies 

The programme includes External Agencies who come into the centre to deliver sessions based around specific subjects. These agencies are: 

  • Youth Offending Team
  • Education Psychologists
  • Young Peoples Substance Misuse Service

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