Thinking aloud...

Elspeth Dugdale | March 4, 2018

Thinking aloud...
Mercy.. considering the next step now that school is over

What happens to WTA students after they leave? This is a question we are often asked and we often consider. Some students stay in touch - many don't. Over the years, we have been so privileged to see many students pass through the doors of WTA and successfully leave for the outside world.



Many leave after S4 (UK GCSE level) to pursue vocational courses, primary teacher training or for A' levels at other schools. Others leave after S6 (A levels) and a few can  access university places either via a government/company bursary scheme  or possibly via wider family funding.

For a while we have considered establishing a bursary fund as a backdrop to help the few that get completely stuck... as they could take a further step, given a little support. 

For so many students, the next step is definitely a precarious and uncertain one - especially if they are not eligible for bursaries and if their parent/guardian says that the funding is now over. They are effectively on their own and expected to manage independently.

For some students, despite their best efforts, they just do not get the grades they need for their chosen course or the next step. This is often due to complex reasons of early childhood development and many poverty-related factors. However, against all the odds, many turn out to be astonishingly resourceful and resilient, often finding a way of getting on in life. Another advantage is that, compared to many other schools, WTA has a more holistic approach to education; they actively encourage students to be determined and persistent in their efforts, and to play a valuable role in their communities, in their families and in the world beyond school.

As ServeDirect, we continue to think about establishing a bursary fund for the students who get 'stuck'- which we would do with input and advice from Charles and his team. If you would be interested in contributing to this, or have your own suggestions on how this could practically work, please do get in touch with us via email at  Our intention is to have something in place during 2018.

3 former students - Eunice (now a nursery teacher), Prossy (primary teacher) and Jackson (now working with us at the Connect Centre Lukomera)