Specialist services

Education, employment and mentoring

Education is critical for a young person's life chances.

Young people who don't attend school are three times more likely to offend compared to those who do. 

There is a direct link between time lost from education and crime in later life.

A third of all prisoners were regularly absent from school and half of all male prisoners were excluded from school.

We have demanding targets for school attendance. 90% of all young people in contact with us should have access to a full-time placement in education, training or employment.

To work towards this, we employ staff specifically to work on educational and careers issues. They provide information, advice and guidance to young people aged 13 to 19 age on personal development, employment and training opportunities.

The aim is to remove barriers to learning and progression, and ensure a smooth transition from school to working life.

These officers work closely with YOS staff to provide educational support, trying to identify as early as possible young people struggling with their behaviour or attendance.

These are important links between the youth offending and education systems, particularly for young people who are serving or have served a custodial sentence, since time in custody can severely disrupt a young person's education.

Mentoring schemes

South Tyneside Mentoring Scheme and The SandWriter Project were both mentoring schemes within South Tyneside Youth Offending Service (YOS).

This scheme trains people from the local community to work as volunteer mentors.

Once trained, they are matched with a young person aged between 8 and 18 years old.

Often referred by the YOS, many of these young people have offended, or are considered to be at risk of offending.


  • Come from all walks of life
  • Have time to spare
  • Have a genuine interest in young people
  • Are over 18 years old
  • Understand the importance of confidentiality
  • Are committed to supervision and support
  • Value training and self-development
  • Usually spend at least one year with the project
  • Are non-judgemental
  • Are respectful toward young people
  • Can communicate effectively with others
  • Obtain a Criminal Records Bureau enhanced disclosure certificate


Training includes:

  • Communication skills
  • The Mentoring Framework
  • Equality and diversity
  • Prejudice awareness
  • Stages of adolescence
  • Basic skills awareness
  • Child protection
  • Sexual health
  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • First aid


If you are interested in supporting a young person to make positive changes in their life, consider applying to be a volunteer mentor.

Northern Learning Trust
Sand writer Mentoring Project
110 Fowler Street
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE33 1PZ

Telephone: 0191 420 3547
Email: enquiries@northernlearningtrust.org.uk