New centre opens for troubled kids
IPSWICH'S first flexible learning centre has opened at the Ipswich PCYC, offering a place to learn for kids struggling to fit into the mainstream school system.
Only two weeks after applications for the centre opened, architect of the program Lynda Hill and her team have received 19 applications from students disengaged from the traditional school system.
Nine children are already attending classes, with 10 more applications being assessed, highlighting the need for such a program in the region.
Ms Hill said the school aimed to help kids who fell through the cracks of the traditional school system.
"FLI (Flexible Learning Inc) is designed for kids that want to learn but have dramas in the main system," she said.
"We're pretty strict on who we allow to come here. This is not for the behaviourally challenged - these kids all want to learn."
Students have arrived at the centre for a range of reasons, including severe bullying, and are finding an environment that better suits their individual needs.
Holly Johnson, 13, chose to come to the school after failing to fit in at a state high school.
"I dealt with a lot of bullying and got picked on a lot because of the way I looked, but here you don't get judged," she said.
"I really want to go to school so I can one day go to uni and become a marine biologist."
The PCYC is one of two campuses, including a Rosewood site, that will soon house 16 students each and a full-time youth support worker.
Students will follow an Education Queensland curriculum and complete their schoolwork via distance education.
The program is surviving on community funding and fundraising events.
"Unfortunately the Department of Education and the Department of Communities are yet to decide what bucket we actually fit into," Ms Hill said.
"They wanted us to open next year but because of the need that already exists, we had to do something sooner."
A fundraising sausage sizzle will be held tomorrow at RT Edwards, Booval, from 9am-3pm.