A Barnoldswick headteacher and West Craven county councillor are looking forward to a scheme that will see former soldiers mentoring pupils in the classroom.

Coun Keith Bailey (Cons) wants West Craven High Technology College in Barnoldswick to be one of the first to open its doors to ex-service personnel as part of a ground-breaking £3 million scheme being launched this month.

Coun Bailey has been at the forefront of developing the Lancashire County Council project, which aims to inspire young people and to give ex-service personnel the chance to retrain and apply their skills as mentors in the classroom.

He said: “This is a fantastic project and has my full support. Ex-service personnel have excellent transferable skills and we at the county council would like to offer as many opportunities as possible for those men and women who have served their country, and this county, so well.”

The mentors could soon take up posts supporting pupils between the ages of 14 and 16 to improve their achievement in class and their attendance at school, and to reduce the number of pupils who are excluded.

The decision to recruit the mentors was made by Lancashire County Council in October.

“The whole project is very exciting and we’re pleased to be a part of it,” said West Craven High headteacher Arnold Kuchartschuk.

“Mentors help pupils to meet their targets and this kind of project can give young people confidence in their own skills.”

In addition to supporting ex-service personnel to retrain and obtain employment, the project aims to contribute to a reduction in the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training in Lancashire.

Mr Kuchartschuk said the council had been interviewing potential candidates for the mentoring role.

Coun Bailey, who said up to 50 mentors could benefit from the scheme, added: “These recruits will receive good quality training and, through Workstart4Armed Forces, they will be supported to apply for employment opportunities within the county council and its partners.”