A BIDWILL school transforming teenagers' lives has received top marks from a federal senator.
Parliamentary schools secretary Jacinta Collins and Chifley MP Ed Husic recently toured Blacktown Youth College to find out how disengaged students were turning over a new leaf.
Its student enrolment has grown from 10 to 126 year 9-10 students since it opened in 2007.
It receives referrals from mainstream schools.
The college has the same learning curriculum as any mainstream school but has no exams.
It is one of 1700 schools across Australia taking part in the low socio-economic status School Communities National Partnership. It will receive $480,000 in 2011-14.
"What is particularly impressive is that 65 per cent of the students find employment within a few months of graduating," Senator Collins said.
"This is an incredible achievement considering most of the students have poor references from their previous schools."
She and Mr Husic had lengthy discussions over funding with principal Anne Ridgway, who said the visit was positive for the school.
"Some students need help to re-engage with education, while others need to learn how to work effectively as part of a group or the community," Ms Ridgway said.
"Blacktown Youth College offers young people a holistic program so that they can reach their full potential."
She has seen many success stories come out of Blacktown Youth College.
"We've had students come back to report that they've found a job or enrolled in TAFE, and most are keeping out of trouble with the police," Ms Ridgway said.
Like any principal, she would welcome additional funding.
Ms Ridgway wants to set up a creche for students who are already young mums so they can continue their education.
"I also want to employ more mentors and teacher's aides to work one-on-one with students," she said.