A Progress Schools student, who will be known as DD, has recently secured a place at college following the intervention and support received from the independent school provider. DD, who has ADHD and ODD, requires support with focus and concentration which has led to behavioural issues in the past. However, since joining Progress Schools, her behaviour has improved significantly, and, with the support of the Progress Schools Team, she has applied and registered onto a College course starting this September.
When DD first started attending Progress Schools, she struggled immensely to sit through a lesson and completed little work. However, having settled in and adjusted to the change, she soon started developing healthy relationships with the staff team. This was particularly evidenced at the start of the 19/20 academic year when a new Head of School joined. DD initially struggled to adapt to this change, but in time, became more familiar with the new member of staff and eventually responded very well to their interventions.
Fast forward a few months, and despite the challenges caused by the national lockdown, DD has worked hard and achieved several milestones. This term she has gained her Level 2 Maths and English in Functional Skills, which comes after achieving her Level 1 qualifications earlier this year. She has also achieved EL3 in ICT.
DD’s hard work and dedication are particularly impressive when coupled with the mental health struggles she has had during the recent lockdown. A recent survey by YoungMinds reports that 80% of respondents agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse. However, through the support of her family and GP, DD was able to get the support she needed and access counselling to help her with how she was feeling.
Her Head of School commented;
“DD has shown her maturity throughout this term and has grown, not only academically but in terms of her social and emotional wellbeing. She has shown her ability to work hard and the nurturing environment has assisted her to flourish.”
DD will now be supported during the transitional phase into college by the team at Progress Schools.
Progress School has recently come to the aid of one of their students (who for confidentially will be referred to as AD) and wider family unit, after a physical altercation led to AD becoming temporally homeless.
Not sure who to turn to, AD’s mum contacted the Head of School to notify them of the situation. The team at Progress Schools were quick to react to put steps in place for the family to access the support needed during this time of crisis. They contacted Social Care to report the situation and seek support for the family. Social Care were able to offer support to the family and agree a more suitable and safer living arrangement for AD in the short term.
During this time, Progress Schools worked collaboratively with Social Care whilst continuing to support AD and his wider family. In addition to delivering his educational provision, Progress Schools also provided financial relief by issuing the family with Free School Meal (FSM) vouchers to help with the additional costs incurred due to AD being at home all day. This struggle has been witnessed across many families during the lockdown, with families needing this extra lifeline to help support them.
This quick reaction by the team at Progress Schools not only demonstrates their strong pastoral support, which helps students facing many personal difficulties, but it also meant that AD was able to remain living with his family. Without the support of Progress Schools and Social Care, AD may have entered into the care system, which, at a time of national crisis and uncertainty, everyone wanted to avoid.
Social Care is just one partner who Progress Schools work with. They also refer to and access support from the likes of CAHMs, mental health organisations and local youth development organisations who can support with specific challenges. This robust partnership network enables Progress Schools to offer a holistic educational and well-being provision, which during the last few months of national lockdown, have been vital for so many of their student.
This support has perhaps never been more evident than in the past few months. Students and families have been supported in a multitude of ways via a remote learning package and face-to-face (socially distanced) visits. This has included weekly tutor “keeping in touch” sessions and head of school welfare checks. The team have also carried out weekly welfare visits to their students to deliver and collect individual work packs and FSM vouchers. Due to the commitment and dedication of each staff member at Progress Schools, all students and families have been well supported, resulting in minimal causes for concern regarding student welfare.
The group of independent secondary schools, who collectively support over 215 secondary aged students throughout England, have also invested in online learning platforms since the lockdown started. They have issued students with the likes of laptops and delivered online session through remote learning platforms such as Google Classrooms and Microsoft Teams. These novel approaches have ensured that as many students as possible have been supported during this unprecedented time. This has enabled them to continue with their delivery, whilst also act as a lifeline for young people when they need additional pastoral support to aid in their social and emotional wellbeing, just like AD.