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GCSE English support sessions @ Skillz already a hit!! Added on Monday 15 September (at 14:01PM)


Check out this fantastic poem that has been written in one of our GCSE English sessions today.

The topic was ‘The Senses’

On Holiday...
I can smell the lovely warm air at the beach.
I can hear the big Seagulls scavenging around for scraps and the sea rushing on the shore.
I can taste the salt when the tide comes in and a wave splashed into my mouth.
When I bend down I pick up the wet sand and let it go through my fingers.
This place feels like home.

Fantastic work! Well done!

New teacher provides skills boost for new term at Leeds education centre Added on Tuesday 26 August (at 15:24PM)


We are preparing for the new academic year by making an important addition to the team.

Skillz Education, based in Wortley, works with youngsters who are unable to achieve their full potential in mainstream schools for a variety of reasons.

As part of the efforts to ensure students get the best possible education, whatever challenges they face, they have now appointed a qualified English teacher to head up the teaching and learning team.

Martine Di Paola, who has experience of working in schools in London, has relocated to the city with her partner and says the role at Skillz matched perfectly with what she was looking for:

“I saw within Skillz the natural passion and strive to improve outcomes for children no matter what their backgrounds were. This is exactly what I wanted to do, and what I’ve been looking to do for some time, so was the perfect match.

“I came to Leeds and looked around the centre. I saw the students in action, and some of the sessions taking place, and was impressed by what was happening. I felt I could really contribute and make a difference as well.”

241 boys and girls have been supported by Skillz since it was set up in 2009. Martine believes that the opportunities offered to young people at the centre are hugely important and wants to ensure the schools the pupils come from are aware of their unique offer:

“Sometimes educational provision for those who don’t fit into mainstream education is the same as school but with smaller numbers. Skillz is very different – it provides the students with something different, tailored to the way they learn and with an understanding of the challenges they face.

“The huge advantage is that it is also backed up by qualified teaching staff who provide the young people with the skills they need, presented in a way that makes sense to them. The learning here isn’t just to get you through a test or to give you a grade but so that it can be used in everyday life.”

Martine has been appointed to the new role by Gemma Stow, founder and Centre Manager of Skillz Education. Gemma says she is looking forward to the experience she brings:

“Skillz is all about making sure young people in Leeds get the best possible start despite the challenges they are facing at home or at school. Martine’s appointment strengthens our academic credentials ensuring that even though the students aren’t in school, they will still receive high quality learning in core subjects from qualified teachers.

“I hope this reassures schools, parents and the young people themselves that Skillz provides them with everything they need to get on in life, just presented in a different environment to mainstream education.”

As the new term approaches, Martine hopes she can make a strong contribution to the work of Skillz and the educational opportunities available for young people in Leeds:

“If I can just make a positive change, where there’s a change in someone’s attitude or the way that they communicate or engage with the public, then I will be happy. I might not even know if that was me or not but if I can just go to bed at night thinking maybe I’ve made a change, that’s why I want to do it.

“Plus, it’s really fun. They make you laugh. They make you cry. You feel alive when you’re working with young people. And that’s why I love to do it.”

Watch Martine speaking about the role at

Social Skillz UK Added on Wednesday 13 August (at 15:06PM)


Social Skillz UK is a social enterprise organisation that works with individuals, aged 16 years and over, who are not currently engaged in further education or on a training course.
We want to empower and educate every person to unlock their potential, raise aspirations and have the confidence to create their futures; one step at a time.
Our Make It Work programme, based at 'The Place' 98 Parkwood Road in Beeston, will focus on practical skills and interpersonal skills whilst gaining an accredited qualification with some real life work experience.
‘The Place’ is also available for hire for meetings, clubs or special occasions.
We are part of the local community and want to hear from everybody with ideas and feedback.
We had great discussions with some locals this morning at our open morning and we’d love to hear more from you about what you want in your area!
Get in touch!
0113 8199990

Skillz Students and families inspired by Paralympic champion and Secret Millionaire Added on Friday 18 July (at 16:01PM)


An alternative education centre working to improve the lives of young people in Leeds has celebrated its fifth birthday by welcoming a gold medal-winning Yorkshire Paralympian and a leading Yorkshire entrepreneur to a special celebration.

Skillz Education, based in Wortley, works with youngsters who are unable to achieve their full potential in mainstream education for a variety of reasons. 241 boys and girls have been supported by the centre since it was set up in 2009.

Parents and carers of students, plus representatives from schools and organisations across Leeds, were invited to the event on Friday 27 June which saw Skillz students showcasing their work. This included a silent auction for bird boxes which had been built in joinery sessions and music provided by those who had taken part in DJ sessions.

Paralympic archery champion Danielle Brown and leading entrepreneur and one time Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins joined the birthday event to inspire the young people to achieve their goals by talking about the challenges they had overcome during their lives.

Gemma Stow, Founder and Director of Skillz Education, said it was great opportunity to be able to showcase the achievements made by the young people:

“Although the students who come to Skillz have particular challenges to overcome, we are committed to working as hard as we can to ensure they receive the best possible education and fully achieve their potential.

“Welcoming two inspirational figures to our fifth birthday celebration was an indication of our commitment to showing the young people that there is nothing they can’t do if they work hard and receive support.

“Danielle is a true champion, achieving a first class law degree while competing at a world class level. The young people revelled in not only hearing from her but getting up close and personal with her gold medals from the Beijing and London Paralympics.

“Carl’s story, coming from a council estate in Leeds to being one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs, is also inspirational and shows our students that they can achieve their dreams.”

Guests at the celebration were also given the opportunity to have a tour of the Skillz facility and certificates were presented to students past and present for taking part in their courses.

See all the great photos of a great day here

Skillz 5th Birthday and Student Success celebration event today! Added on Friday 27 June (at 07:41AM)


All students welcome to attend - we would love to see you and your families there - including the Year 11's that have recently finished with us! From 1230-230 at St John's Church Hall across from Skillz

Maths Teacher wanted! Added on Tuesday 03 June (at 14:22PM)


We are searching for a unique individual who can teach Maths and has what it takes to make a difference to the young people's lives that attend Skillz! Please click on the link for more info