Hastings Opportunity Area Inclusion Update – December 2020

Dec 14, 2020

The inclusion strand for year 4 aims to further embed and build on HOA funded inclusion work developed within the 3 Hastings mainstream secondary schools over the last 2 years. In addition, we seek to further promote effective inclusive practice and shared working across a wider number of secondary schools (those schools outside Hastings that accept pupils living in Hastings) to significantly reduce fixed term and permanent exclusions.

We have funded the 3 mainstream secondary schools to deliver programmes within their schools to support pupils most at risk of exclusion. Each school has developed a detailed plan for this work, which includes building on their learning from previous years. We have set out below what each school will deliver:

The St Leonards Academy project is aiming to build on the successful inclusion programme that they delivered last year, which focused on the establishment of its Education Training Centre. The centre enabled students who had disengaged with education, to retrain and gain the skills and confidence to enter mainstream education again. 

The aim this year, is for TSLA to widen their core offer of 3 days core learning and 2 days at Jujitsu for students placed on their 6-week inclusion programme within the Centre, by including a creative offer of food tech, DT and IT as well as addressing some of the student’s social and emotional barriers to learning.  They will provide Art therapy (which encompasses Zones of Regulation, Anger Management or access to a counsellor) as well as Accelerated reader and Lexonic Sound training to address any literacy gaps. Students who access the ETC are placed in a group of 11 which then become a ‘family’. Key workers are attached to the group.

Ark Alexandra aim to support a cohort of KS3-4 pupils. They are aiming to work with up to 25 pupils, over a 6-week period. Pupils will be supported in a specially build unit, where they will access a mixture of formal learning and small group intensive support to pupils who may be at risk of permanent exclusion. The aim is to increase pupil’s attendance and resetting their behaviour as well as supporting pupils to develop a positive attitude towards learning so that all pupils can return successfully to learning within the mainstream school. Alongside this, the project aims to reduce the number of fixed term exclusions for these pupils and safeguarding incidents. Focus will also be given to improving pupil’s overall health and wellbeing both physically and mentally.

The Hastings Academy will provide extra support for 30 year 8 pupils who are most at risk of disengagement/exclusion and who are in need additional support to engage with mainstream lessons. The focus of work with students is to support them to access mainstream provision; with students accessing support whilst attending mainstream classes from a behaviour support staff member, alongside provision specifically geared to meeting their needs at key points during the day, when they need to ‘reset’. This will enable pupils to access support around developing their self- confidence, learn how to self-regulate, address friendship issues, drug and alcohol misuse and other barriers to attending and engaging in school life.

As part of our work on inclusion, this year, the Hastings Opportunity Area is extending is funded outside of Hastings schools.  We have therefore funded secondary schools outside of Hastings (Robertsbridge, Claverham, Rye College, St Richards and Bexhill College) to engage in a pro-active programme of work to reduce exclusions across the schools. Funding is to support the development of ‘in school provision’ and to support schools to engage in a programme of collaborative work with other schools in the area.  Detailed programmes to support individual students, parents and staff in each of these Area Group 3 schools have been produced and each school’s pilot projects will all start in January 2021

AS part of this work, the HOA is also supporting the employment of an area 3 exclusion prevention coordinator, to work with this group of schools and the Hastings schools to promote effective inclusive practice to reduce exclusions across all of the schools.  The aim of the project is to achieve zero permanent exclusions across all the schools by September 21 and a significant reduction in level of fixed term exclusions from January 2021 onwards.

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