Teenagers are signing up for a summer programme which will challenge them in the next stage in their life by learning how to live independently.

Year 11 students at Burnt Mill Academy, in Harlow, will time away from home at The National Citizenship Service that aims to enhance life skills and meet new people.

The National Citizenship Service is a voluntary personal and social development programme for 16 and 17-year-olds, mainly funded by the Government.

Pupils can take part in a two, three or four-week programme to develop their independence before starting college or work.

Activities during the youngster’s stay include canoeing, concerts, football and have the opportunity to stay in accommodation with their peers while they learn to be independent.

Francis Collins, associate headteacher, said: “This is a really huge opportunity for our students. It is a fantastic thing to have on their UCAS application when they are looking to go to university in the future.

“It can come as a shock to young people when they leave us as we spend so much time with them. This is just another opportunity to help them with the transition onto the next step of their journey.

“We want our students to be self-driven, self-motivated and to use their own initiative. They have to do a lot for themselves when they go to college, so this really helps to prepare them.”