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Our Positive Journey of Change

Positive Journey of Change - From Isolation to Independence

At TCES National Online School we take each student on a positive journey from social isolation to independence. We know that for many children, young people and their families, their previous educational journey is often beset by negative experiences of late, or no diagnoses, negative labelling, bullying, often resulting in exclusion or student withdrawal, culminating in significant social isolation.

When they first arrive at TCES National Online School it takes time to believe that they will not be judged, will not be excluded, and that their needs will be understood and met. Each student will have a start with a key person in the form of a pastoral Form Tutor, who, along with subject teachers will support the student to develop a healthy relationship and to begin to trust and believe in themselves (This is the Healthy Dependence stage).

The assessment process reviews strengths, talents and interests as well as gaps in subject areas, a clear learning plan is developed with the student and their tutor, overseen by our leadership and clinical team . This plan will lead our student through to a *full-time education programme, that provides Core and Foundation subjects in small group lessons.   We are mindful that we do not want to create a dependency by working solely on a 1:1 basis, which is why we aim to move most students to a virtual classroom with a small number of other virtual students (class sizes of 5 students initially but growing to 8). (This stage is called the Inter-Dependence stage). 

Not every student will be able to manage this transition immediately, or indeed the full-time programme, and it is vital that we get a healthy balance of stretching students with one of our *Community Values; High Expectations, but equally, acknowledging that in EBSA and related conditions, we must not ignore or minimise their often, debilitating conditions. When students are well supported educationally, socially and emotionally to make the transition successfully to a virtual classroom, they are beginning the stage of Independence.

Our Award-winning LIFE (Leadership skills, Independence skills, Future Options and Empowerment) programme (winner of two national awards) will run alongside the Core and Foundation curriculum and support that independence.

Independence is different for every single student. For some, it will be progressing from Social Isolation to Independence with relative ease, whilst for others being able to create a Healthy Dependence will be ‘climbing their Everest’ and astonishing progress. For other students, we are supporting them to change their perceptions of themselves, and to develop an identity as young Leaders, or as gifted and talented in some area. We will succeed in re-integrating these students back into mainstream school or into mainstream colleges. That inclusion will be their Independence. In 2021/22, after an average placement of six months, almost 80% of TCES National Online School students were ready to reintegrate to school or college.  

If every student were able to progress through these stages with relative ease then they would be in mainstream school already. For TCES, getting the balance right is everything as otherwise students will dis-engage and refuse any education. We must work at their pace and where they are at and not where we’d like them to be. That is the expertise that the TCES National Online School can provide.

TCES National Online School gives families the peace of mind that their child or young person is not falling further behind and is also receiving the therapeutic education they may need to help them address barriers to school attendance.