We Are Stoke-on-Trent: Helping students who are truanting

Merit is a short stay school in Stoke on Trent for children who truant from their mainstream school, often because of medical and mental health struggles.

The students get referred to Merit by the local authority.

The school has rolled out a scheme where local artists team up with students where they use art to de-stress and help with their focus.

Kirsty O’Keefe who teaches at the school wants people to not immediately judge students who are skipping school.

She said people often presume students ‘can’t be bothered’ but the young people at Merit face ‘huge barriers’ with their mental health and medical conditions.

This video was created as part of We Are Stoke-on-Trent – a BBC project with the city’s people to tell the stories that matter to them.

Filmed by Ben Moore

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