Case Studies


classofyourown® is a group of like-minded, socially-orientated construction industry professionals all determined to take real-life experiences and opportunities right into the classroom.

By developing young people’s natural interest in their own environments, classofyourown® programmes bring the chance to lead on sustainability projects and assignments. They enable young people to learn the fundamentals of design, construction and engineering, and apply this knowledge through curriculum subjects.

Sustainability is a key aspect of Class of your Own’s series of collaborative programmes.  As ‘good citizens’, the professionals involved believe that young people can make positive contributions to their local, national and even global society simply by making educated choices in the way they choose to live their lives; and consequently, sustainable or Eco-thinking for future generations becomes a way of life and not merely a series of targets and tick boxes.   It’s a process through which students can not only influence their families and friends, but also businesses by impacting strategy and promoting genuinely accountable corporate social responsibility.

COYO actively promotes the idea that young people have an exciting part to play in a new society of sustainable communities.  As the workforce of tomorrow, COYO gives young people the attention they deserve today.

It is an Approved Learning Provider for Manchester City Council and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and has gone through a rigorous process to offer relevant programmes that support current education policies and strategies.

The Challenge

The organisation firstly wanted to demonstrate compliance with legislation in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and to ensure that all professionals working on projects in schools were trained to national standards. Secondly, it wanted to take lead in its sector to create a working environment where children, young people and professionals alike were protected and safe.

COYO recognised fully that being complacent about safeguarding issues and risks could have potential implications. It decided to place transparency at the heart of its work with young people and to minimise the risk of allegations of misconduct.

The Athena Solution

We designed and delivered a bespoke, pilot programme for professionals in the Construction and Built Environment sector who work face-to-face with children and young people in schools on behalf of classofyourown®.

The training course covered the legislative framework of safeguarding, identifying categories, signs and symptoms of abuse, how to respond to a disclosure, reporting pathways, information sharing, safe working practices, and managing allegations of abuse.

The nature of this pilot programme allowed us to gain the necessary feedback from those attending to help establish and frame specific content for a new course, which is to be rolled out during Spring 2011.

The Outcome

Alison Watson, Director, said: “˜We loved working with Athena because of their novel approach, friendly staff and professional reputation for providing expert and reliable information.

We have had a number of contractors assure us that safeguarding training is not really required. However, when they dig deeper into the ‘what ifs’ they often realise they have actually had a number of experiences where they haven’t quite been able to handle a situation. For example, being left alone with a pupil in a one-to-one situation can expose both parties to risk.

More than anything, Athena have raised a few eyebrows and hopefully made contractors be more aware of how easy it would be to be caught off guard.

We hope to enforce safeguarding as far as possible as part of the COYO ‘offer’ and would certainly recommend The Athena Programme to other companies and organisations in the Construction and Built Environment sector.”