So what happens when a kid gets expelled from school? For most of them, society labels them as troubled individuals, but somehow does what it can to help them (literally) scrape through the education system. As soon as they hit 16 they are left out in the cold, with their futures already dictated by the decisions they naively made. However for some students, there are Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), centres designed to provide an alternative to mainstream education and for one PRU in East London a massive project has been underway.
Over the past year and in partnership with Atlantic Records, The Big Music Project and The Brit Trust, Each One Teach One (EOTO) has been building a state-of-the-art recording studio at The Tunmarsh Centre, in Plaistow. During the build, the EOTO Media Team, including myself, has documented the whole project from start to finish and interviewed some of the major stakeholders involved: including the investors, the teachers and most importantly the students. We heard first-hand why an investment was so necessary and how it would hugely benefit the young people there. During our interviews, the same points seemed to resonate throughout. It was clear that there was a massive failure on the part of the government to acknowledge the positives that young people have to offer; and in fact, they were guilty of an over focus on their negatives. Also the importance of music was evident both as a channel and an outlet, as well as a distraction from problems that young people may face on a daily basis.
The benefits for the students there will no doubt be immense, but in the larger scope of things this was one project, from one charity, for one school. We hope to put pressure on not only the government, but to encourage other companies with the means to provide and invest in the same way which EOTO has done; ensuring that we aren’t left with a lost generation whose talents and potential achievements are overshadowed by their mistakes.
A huge amount of respect goes out to Ben (Plan B), EOTO, those who helped fund the music room and everyone else who worked on and supported this brilliant project.
To find out more about Each One Teach One Trust and the work they do with young people visit: http://eototrust.org/
Written by Racha Sobratee