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Saffron Valley Collegiate

May 15, 2024

Saffron Valley Collegiate is a Pupil Referral Unit with five provisions for children with a variety of needs including those who have been permanently excluded, those at risk of permanent exclusion, and other challenges within mainstream schools.

Their Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforce (APST) team was set up as part of the Department for Education’s funding programme where AP’s can set up teams of specialists to directly support young people and help keep them safe from the impact of serious youth violence. This programme is currently under evaluation and we await a robust estimate of its impact. However, the Saffron Valley team are detailing many of the strategies in the Education, Children and Violence Guidance.

Saffron Valley Team

All Taskforces are set up according to the need in the area. For Saffron Valley, the team consists of the Taskforce Lead, an Assistant Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Mental Health Lead, Youth Worker and Family Support Worker, based in the provision. Hear how they identify the children’s needs and work collaboratively to support them:

Meet the Saffron Valley AP Taskforce

How a Taskforce fits within an alternative provision

Jenny Adamson, AP Taskforce Project Coordinator, explains how their team works to identify and address the needs of young people who are referred to the school.

How does an Assistant Psychologist support young people at Saffron Valley?

Bani Kohli, Assistant Psychologist, discusses the benefits of young people having immediate access to interventions that can support them. She also explains the benefits of making direct referrals to other professionals within the Taskforce team which provides a seamless transition for pupils.

Speech and language therapy tackling communication techniques.

Young people can display frustration at not being able to get on at school through behavioural issues or even missing school. Sabrina Toubal, Speech and Language Therapist, explains how she seeks to understand the child and where they’re coming from, before assessing their needs. She works with each young person to create a student focused achievable outcome.

Building self-esteem through positive activities and trusted adult relationships.

Youth worker, Stephanie White, talks of nurturing young people and helping them believe in themselves. She explains how the consistency of having someone to talk to and seeing them everyday in school builds trusted relationships which help children to open up.

Getting a full picture of a young person’s needs through family support.

Wayne Lindsay, Family Support Specialist, aims to understand children’s home environments to better support them in school. To do this, Wayne works with a wide variety of teams, whether that’s social workers, gangs teams or the police, to understand what’s going on in a child’s life. To support with attendance, he works with children and their families to identify what the barriers are to attending school and finding ways to get round them.

Mental health support for pupils at affected by adverse childhood experiences.

Developmental trauma is something Alex Ramsden sees in most pupils at Saffron Valley. To help children work through this trauma and express how they feel, she uses creative methods, such as art or music. She emphasises the importance of resistance and rejection, and the value of consistently being present for a young person until they’re ready to open up to her or the wider AP team.

The impact Saffron Valley’s AP Taskforce has had on a pupil

One young person who has been at Saffron Valley since 2022 has seen a change in her behaviour and willingness to attend her classes and work with others. Her mum also explains the positive changes in her attitude and behaviour.