350 children need Northampton venue for language classes

Children at an ANSS session

Children at an ANSS session

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Three hundred and fifty children who take Saturday language classes in Northampton are searching for a venue.

The lessons are arranged by the Association of Northamptonshire Supplementary Schools (ANSS), who had negotiated the use of several school classrooms in Northampton.

But a policy change has seen the schools end their agreement effective as of January, and ANSS says other venues in the town are asking sky-high rates.

Ute Nannini, an ANSS officer said: “We have worked so hard in the last three years to ensure that our members are placed in educational premises and supplementary schools abide by rules and regulations laid out in teaching and safeguarding children and young people.

“Yet we have problems finding a new venue for our Saturday schools.

“We have had a lot of negotiations and meetings with mainstream schools and the University of Northampton. They all refused to host our schools or quoted rates that were far too high to even consider.

“As it stands about 350 children will not be able to carry on with their supplementary education as of January.”

The idea of supplementary schools is to teach children, many of whom are British, who have foreign born parents about their langauge and culture and also how to become good citizens. They are backed by Northamptonshire County Council among others.

Other benefits of attending a supplementary school is that children increase their self-confidence and can gain additional accreditation with regards to GCSE, AS and A levels.

Alaa Abouzanad, chair of ANSS said: “The supplementary schools enable children to fulfil their potential, to instil a good attitude to learning and to become good citizens.

“If this is taken away from them, children and young people from the Polish, Ghanaian, Russian and Greek supplementary schools will be affected.

As of January, ANSS needs 24 classrooms (not necessarily in one building) on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm for 35 weeks in term times.