Pathways is a Belfast-based alternative education programme for young people, aged 15-16, at risk of being excluded from mainstream education and who may also be at risk of offending, or entering into care or custody.

Since starting in 1998, Pathways has worked with around 700 young people, and provides lessons and qualifications to young people facing difficulties with remaining in conventional school or classroom settings.

Pathways educates participants in core subjects and prepares them for the next steps in their lives, such as entering the workplace or going back into the education system.

Young people chatting with staff at the Extern Pathways Project

The Education Authority-funded project typically works with ten young people in each of its three sites across the city, with ages ranging from 14 to 16.

The pupils are usually outside of mainstream education for a variety of reasons, and referrals are made by the Education Welfare Service, in conjunction with the host school, if their attendance slips below 85 per cent.

The programme offers English, Maths and ICT up to GCSE level, while some participants have taken their education even further to sixth form.

Aside from the conventional subjects, the programme also emphasises personal and social skills through a well-being programme.

SUPPORTING: Young People & Families

HOW DO I ACCESS THIS SERVICE? Referrals to this service are made via the Education Welfare Service

CONTACT: Ceri O’Reilly
Pathways Project,
Unit 5, Nelson Trade Centre,
Nelson Street,
BT15 1BH

Tel: 028 9027 8189 or 028 9027 8583
Email: [email protected] 

Find out how Pathways transformed Beth's life.