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UTC JLT steps in to care for local community

The Junior Leadership Team (JLT) at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC has had a busy term!

Alongside working on a number of projects like Black History Month, they’ve created food hampers for families in need, fundraised a gift for each student from the school so that no one goes without, hosted Christmas non-uniform days to raise cash for the local food bank and organised a regifting programme to redistribute unused gifts.

They’ve also worked with sister school The Studio to run a present drive with staff, helping local families who might be struggling to have presents to open for their children.

The team consists of students from Year 9 through to Year 13 from both Life Sciences UTC and The Studio, working in collaboration. It provides a bridge between students and teachers and allows young adults to develop their leadership skills and take responsibility for campaigns and issues which they care about.

The JLT works together to make whole school decisions, promote equality and change, new kinds of learning and the importance of literacy, meeting regularly with principal of both schools, Jill Davies and the schools’ business partners. The team is made up of committees and reflects the different areas of interest and expertise, such as an equalities and charity committee.

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The JLT is not a typical school student council. They are passionate about their role, saying: “We want the JLT to bring positive change for everyone at the Studio and Life Sciences UTC, in both our school and wider community. We want to be aware of the challenges that both we and others face and work to overcome them.

“We want students to feel confident and assertive to discuss issues that affect them and take on roles leading and working with others.”

Serena and Isaac are head girl and head boy respectively at the school. “This year has been a struggle for almost everyone, from the closing of school to a national lockdown, which included not seeing family or friends,” they say. “Day by day we’d go without seeing loved ones as well as staying home at all times, which impacted us socially, mentally and also financially. This pandemic has forced many members of different families to stay home from work and has had a negative effects on their lives, which has led to smaller incomes, more worries and less joy.

“The school has tried its best to make all the students to feel safe and secure – although things are still tough, our school has continued to support families during this pandemic. It was our goal that no family within our school community would struggle to afford food for the Christmas period.

“Everyone has dealt with the effects of the pandemic differently, but the one thing we all experienced is the fear of the unknown: wondering what will happen next.

“It is important that we all work together to make things work and spread positivity, as we’re heading to a potential great new year.”

The school has reported a surge in applications this year, as young people have identified with the caring role of the NHS during the pandemic, and have engaged with the idea of a career in healthcare.

Around a third of students leave Life Sciences UTC every year to start their career in the health sector, because of the school’s strong links with the NHS, and its popular placement and work experience programmes.

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