- The programme has been running for nearly 9 years
- The programme has helped over 22,000 young people
- There are currently 1036 clubs in about 600 schools and centres
The Prince's Trust xl Programme
Rod Aldridge has been associated with The Prince’s Trust for over 15 years and was invited by HRH The Prince of Wales to become a trustee in 2001, leaving the post in 2007 having completed his tenure of six years. As someone who is passionate about education and puts improving education standards for young people very high on his agenda, Rod became involved in The Trust’s xl programme in 1999 being appointed Chairman of the xl Advisory Committee, the group charged with the responsibility of developing the programme. Through his Charitable Trust, Rod has made several donations towards the costs of the central team at Park Square East who implement and manage this successful programme throughout the country.
The xl programme bridges the gap between employers and students and focuses on practical learning and improving key skills. It aims to equip young people for the world of work or further education. The programme over a two year period has provided in-school clubs for 14-16 year olds at risk of truancy, exclusion or underachievement. Its aim is to re-engage young people back into education with main objectives being to encourage participation, self-belief and motivation, helping to make the young people feel a part of society again rather than being out on the fringes. It is shown that participants:
- Improve confidence and self-esteem
- Increase attendance and motivation and improve their chances of completing compulsory schooling
- Increase the number of qualifications attempted
- Enhance citizenship and community awareness
- Improve the quality of their evidence for the National Record of Achievement
- Improve social skills and behaviour in schools
The clubs are deliberately informal, encouraging the young people to feel comfortable in an educational surrounding. They are guided and encouraged by an xl club Adviser chosen for his or her leadership and teamwork abilities. Those attending clubs work towards The Prince’s Trust xl Award accredited by ASDAN, which gives club members an award in the ‘Wider Key Skills’ of Problem Solving, Working with Others and Improving own Learning, as well as recognising achievement in five key areas. These key areas are:
- Personal, team and interpersonal skills
- Citizenship and community awareness
- Preparation for the world of work
- Entrepreneurship and enterprise
- Organising a residential activity
It has proved to be a hugely successful programme, earning many young people accreditations they may have struggled to achieve, and re-engaging them back into the education system. The programme has been running for nearly 9 years. Over this time the programme has helped over 22,000 young people. There are currently 1036 clubs in about 600 schools and centres.
With the xl programme being so cost-effective and popular, it has many ways of moving forward. In the past two years, new variations of the core xl programmes have been piloted – one linked to rugby and one linked to football. They have been well received and continue to establish themselves as part of the xl programme. It is now The Trust’s intention to focus resources on the most needy areas of the country and in particular in schools where there are substantial levels of underachievement and widespread poor performance.