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 temporarily 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 was 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 has 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 sessions 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.