Game Changers: True Stories series

Added 21 Sep 2020

From school exclusion to a successful career: Jude Yawson hosts a stellar line-up for this interview series to inspire excluded young people through literacy.

Are you using the videos in the classroom? A free worksheet resource is being published along with each episode, to download from this page.

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Bonus episode: Advice for excluded students

Footballer Nile Ranger, spoken word artist MC Angel and author Derek Owusu speak directly to excluded students, giving their best life advice.

Episode 1 with footballer Nile Ranger

Jude chats with Nile Ranger, a footballer who has played for Newcastle United, Swindon Town, Blackpool and Southend United. Nile was excluded from school but turned things around.

Episode 2 with Shauna O'Briain aka MC Angel

Jude chats with MC Angel, spoken word artist, hip hop MC and author of Moments of Significance: A Memoir.

Episode 3 with Derek Owusu

Jude chats with Derek Owusu, winner of the Desmond Elliott prize for his debut novel, That Reminds Me.

About Game Changers

In January 2020, we launched Game Changers: a 10 week programme which aims to motivate excluded young people to read. Game Changers has already run in 30 alternative provision schools across England and Wales, reaching over 300 excluded pupils.

Our early research revealed that students were most engaged with texts depicting real-life role models who had themselves faced difficulty at school. In particular, the story of Jude Yawson – who was permanently excluded for poor behaviour at 13 but went on to co-author Stormzy’s autobiography – resonated with their experience and ambitions.

“I think they were really powerful but relatable texts for the students.” (Tom Hoskin, PRU teacher, Swindon)

“It was exciting to show them that reading can and should be relevant.” (Alex Wilkinson, PRU teacher, London)

About the True Stories series

To continue to share these inspirational narratives, we launched True Stories: a series of interviews with role models who were once excluded from education, hosted by Jude Yawson.

Each discussion revolved around the idea that, though school exclusion can seem permanent, things in life can change. The guests also discuss how literacy and reading have had transformative impacts on their own life stories.

The Game Changers: True Stories series is launched in partnership with OWN IT! – a London based talent agency and storytelling lifestyle brand.