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The sky's the limit for Middlesbrough youngsters

Would your child make a good murder investigator?

Or do they love High Street shopping - or a love for the kitchen to become a top Michelin star chef?

A campaign is being launched in Middlesbrough's schools to push the town's children to realise that The Sky's The Limit.

Inspirational Teessiders with interesting, well-paid and rewarding jobs are fronting the drive to improve and stress the importance of attendance, punctuality and getting the most out of school.

In the 2017/18 academic year 23 of Middlesbrough's 41 primary schools had attendance below the national average of 95.8% and six of the town's secondary schools had attendance below the national average of 94.47%.

Among the first ambassadors to The Sky's The Limit are serving Cleveland Police Officers, a Middlesbrough College trained chef and Middlesbrough's Town Centre Manager.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Waterfield is a Boro lad born and bred. After attending Acklam Grange, Middlesbrough College and Teesside University, he has worked his way up in Cleveland Police and is now part of the murder investigation team.

He said: "I wasn't very academic really - I enjoyed school but I wasn't the ‘brightest' student by any means and didn't get the best grades! So when I left I made sure I did some extra courses to enable me to get more qualifications, but I would recommend paying attention at the time, getting to school on time and just get on with it.

"I love my job, it's exciting and there's something different every day. I am able to help people, even in the most difficult situations, to get justice for their friend or family member who has been murdered. We have to remember that the victim was a person like you and me, and it's rewarding for me to help that person be remembered in the best way."

Chef Michael Jones went to Middlesbrough College where he was inspired to study a BTEC in Hospitality Supervision.

Asked for the advice he would give his younger self he said: "Just go for it! Turn up to classes on time even if you don't feel like it, it will be worth it in the end.

"The best thing is the amount of free reign I have to create new dishes. I like the fact I'm not sat at a desk, I'm on my feet doing some proactive and I'm really passionate about making new dishes."

The Sky's The Limit will aim to remind parents that:

  • Going to school is critical to a child's success and affects their career and lifestyle outcomes into adulthood;
  • Getting to school on time helps your child to achieve the most out of their day
  • Staying at the same school ensures your child fulfils their potential;
  • Children's voices are listened to in Middlesbrough; and
  • Middlesbrough supports you to achieve your goals in life.

A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said: "We can't stress enough how important it is for our children to have good attendance and punctuality at school and that is what this campaign aims to do.

"We want to really push that our children can take any path they want to achieve their goals and that they really can achieve them but there are some really simple but key things to do to make those dreams achievable."

For more information on the campaign visit the Learning Middlesbrough website. The campaign is also looking for more ambassadors to share their stories. To get involved email marketing@middlesbrough.gov.uk.