New social enterprise aims to support most vulnerable pupils

As reported by The Guardian, a new social enterprise has been launched to improve education for the most vulnerable pupils

A new social enterprise, named The Difference, has been launched to improve education – and life beyond it – for the most vulnerable children.

Excessive school exclusions have been in and out of the headlines recently, particularly with growing evidence of schools ‘off-rolling’.

For Kiran Gill, founder of The Difference, the ongoing public debate is a welcome recognition of what her organisation has been attempting to highlight.

The Difference has now recruited its first teachers, who will start placements in alternative provisions from September.

The hope is that these teachers will support the pupils who are most at risk of exclusion to manage their behaviour and learn more effectively.

Astrid Schon, deputy head of Leap, said most of its pupils have a family history of trauma and these children need to be treated with a particular type of care and support.

“Children who behave in an extreme way must have had trauma or conflict, and alarm bells should go off straight away,” she said.

“Their behaviour is a form of communication, yet often these issues have not been dealt with at an earlier stage when the children really need a bespoke approach, which we aim to give.

“We get to know them so well. We know before they set foot in the classroom if something is off and can immediately work with them to de-escalate a difficult situation.”

The The Difference scheme aims to create what Gill calls a “coalition of leaders who think differently and can change perceptions and practice”.

“There is not enough understanding of what works in the alternative provision sector,” she said.

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