New scheme gets students on the right track

A disused Sheffield airfield will soon be the first stop on the road to success for many South Yorkshire students.

The Norton Airfield site, a former World War Two RAF barrage balloon station off Norton Avenue, has been reopened by Safety 1st Driving Academy.

Part of the initiative will involve working in partnership with secondary schools to teach road safety youngsters aged 15 and 16.

The project will begin with a computer-based course, Drive iQ, delivered to students in the classroom by Andy Warburton and Paul Gregory, directors at Safety 1st.

For teenagers that succeed in the initial assessment, a trip to the airfield is on the cards.

Paul said: “Going to the airfield is a reward for the students’ work. They must have that safety knowledge first.”

At the former aerodome, students will be taught road safety, maintenance of a vehicle and the legal requirements of driving.

They will then be given a few hours to learn the basics of driving free of charge.

Paul believes the sessions will prepare the teens for more than just their driving lessons.

He said: “It’s all about installing them with the confidence they need to go forward.

“A lot of the children we have worked with so far require additional support at school, so encouraging them to learn this way can benefit them in all aspects of their life. We hope they will learn skills that improve their chances of getting a career.”

The first school to take part in the new scheme is Thrybergh Academy and Sports College in Rotherham.

Alongside the Road Safety Program, Paul has future plans to work with the county’s primary schools, teaching push-bike safety to children at the site.