A “unique” alternative learning provision in Woking will teach its students skills that will last a lifetime thanks to funding from Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Steps to 16, which is run by the Surrey Care Trust, offers educational support to children aged between 14 and 16 who are struggling with mainstream education.

The curriculum, which focuses on functional learning, including English and maths as well as vocational skills such as cooking, budgeting and sports, is tailored to individual students.

Youngsters struggling with a range of social, emotional or mental-health needs attend up to three days a week before taking their exams at the end of the year.

Commissioner Lisa Townsend recently approved a £4,500 grant that will boost the facility’s life skills lessons for a year. 

The funding will enable students to develop their critical thinking skills, which teachers hope will support healthy life choices and good decision making when it comes to issues such as drugs, gang crime and poor driving.

This month, Deputy Commissioner Ellie Vesey-Thompson, who leads the commissioner’s work on provision for children and young people, visited the facility.

During a tour, Ellie met with students, joined a life skills lesson and discussed funding with programme manager Richard Tweddle.

She said: “Supporting Surrey’s children and young people is vitally important to the commissioner and myself. Steps to 16 ensures that students who are finding it difficult to continue with traditional education can still learn in a safe setting.”