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A Bit of a Background


CANTO was formed in 1992 by Barrie Willis MBE and was based in an old factory in Robert Street in Northampton Town Centre.  Barrie had been responsible for running a local factory, and had noticed that there was a need for someone to work with those who had been out of work for a long period of time.  In part funded by the Job Centre, Barrie began to work with these individuals focusing on some of the practical job skills needed for factory or warehouse work, this grew to include work on CV writing and interview techniques.


With funding established with the Job Centre CANTO began to receive referrals for students with additional support needs who were identified as being 'NEET' Not in Education, Employment or Training (16-24).  With the development of this programme CANTO's staff team along with the subjects being covered began to grow.  In 2004 serious damage was done to the foundations of our Robert Street premises and this led to CANTO making emergency provisions to continue it's programmes for a short time.  This eventually led to CANTO moving to Moulton Park.  In 2005 Barrie received the MBE for his services to the community.  CANTO's development of its programme led to an increasing staff team along with an increased choice of activities for our students to participate in.  Over the next few years we saw the introduction of option areas such as Music, Drama and Sports.  To cope with this further expansion CANTO sought new premises which would offer additional space for us to deliver new subjects in .  


CANTO then moved to a new location in Summerhouse Road and development continued to take place 2009 saw CANTO undertake another change as Barrie took a step back and handed over the day to day running of CANTO to Charlotte.  In 2010 CANTO became an accredited centre with NCFE and City and Guilds enabling us to offer nationally recognised qualifications to our students for the first time.  Initially this was just in English, ICT Maths, Cookery, Drama and Music.  CANTO's continual drive to improve its provision has led to us introduction new areas such as Photography and Small Animal Care along with the opportunity for all of our students to experience some form of work experience.  As can be seen on our qualifications page we now also offer qualifications in over 15 different areas. As CANTO developed our premises in Moulton Park became insufficient for our needs, this led to Charlotte leading our move to new premises in Lumbertubs which expanded our ability to support students further.  Shortly after arrival in our new premises the staff team at CANTO were very pleased to see the hard work of recent years recognised by HM Inspectorate OFSTED, when in our most recent inspection in October 2016 we received a GRADE 2 'GOOD' in all areas of provision.  

More recently further change has taken place as CANTO has become recognised as a charity which in turn has seen the introduction of a board of trustees.

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