FOR the first time, an exciting opportunity is being offered to students in the Sussex area.

This scheme, which has been running for nine years in secondary schools in Greater London, gives students between the ages of 14 and 18 a taste of life as a journalist.

Designed to encourage students to think independently and explore their local community, whilst building up their confidence as young writers, this scheme stretches them beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

Jenny Greenland, Careers Manager at Carshalton High School for Girls, who has been involved for many years, said: “This is a great opportunity for students to get a taste of being in the real world of work as a journalist by finding stories and meeting deadlines.

"The support provided is excellent.”

In a highly competitive industry, where work experience for school students is minimal, the Young Reporter Scheme offers that gap in the market.

Judith Forshaw an English Teacher at Croydon High School, said: “We have been involved in this excellent scheme since 2009. Our students find researching good stores, adopting an appropriate tone and style, and meeting the tight deadlines, a challenge but also personally extremely rewarding.”

The scheme is intense but worthwhile and enables students to see their name in lights with every article published, whilst building up a portfolio of work for use with their CVs and UCAS applications.

Diana Jarvis, who started the scheme in 2008, said: “I had no idea when I approached the editor, how successful it would be.

Over the years, it has gone from strength to strength and students who started the scheme with me nine years ago have gone on to become professional journalists.

“Schools worry that there will be a lot of extra work but that is not the case.

"Once the student names are given to Newsquest, we take over and they report directly to me.”

Every year, more and more students sign up to join this exciting and unique scheme.

Those that are not considering a career in the media, still benefit as it is a good discipline and great experience.