Head of Outreach
The Horizons Academy Bexley Outreach Service work in close partnership with Bexley schools and academies to provide effective short term intervention targeted at children and young people at risk of permanent exclusion. This service is available to mainstream schools and academies located within the London Borough of Bexley and those in neighbouring local authorities.
Our aim is to support schools and academies in identifying and addressing challenging behaviour whilst keeping children and young people in the mainstream setting. Where this is not possible a referral to the Refocus programme may be offered to primary and secondary pupils in KS3 and long term placements for students in KS4 in partnership with Horizons Academy Bexley.
The outreach team share a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with disaffected and challenging children and young people from a range of backgrounds and educational settings.
The team is led by the Head of Outreach with Prevention and Reintegration Coordinators responsible for devising structured plans to address behavioural concerns and formalise partnership work between the school, parents and students. Our Outreach and Reintegration Officers provide targeted 1:1 intervention and support to individual students and small groups to address specific topics placing young people at risk of permanent exclusion.
Our reintegration team provide 1:1 support to students reintegrating back to the home school upon completion of the Refocus programme and those returning to mainstream setting from permanent exclusion. Reintegration support is available for up to 12 weeks to ensure sharing of positive strategies with the home school, continuity of support and to maximise reintegration success.
- Strategic advice on behaviour management and inclusive practice - all students referred to our service receive individual action plans which include advice on personalised programmes of support based on the needs of the pupil.
- Direct intervention and targeted programmes to support students - a range of programmes are available to meet the diverse needs of young people referred to our service. All programmes set SMART targets and can range from a 6 to 12 week programme dependent on the needs of the student. All programmes receive 1:1 support by our intervention officers for the duration of the plan.
- Structured assessments to indicate developmental support - to ensure our programmes are suitable and meet the needs of students referred, a range of structured assessments are used to assess developmental progress in primary and secondary aged children and young people and possible underlying mental health difficulties.
- Formalised partnerships with parents and carers - Working in partnership with parents and carers is essential to achieve positive outcomes for students. Parents and carers are included in all outreach programmes with attendance and participation at meetings compulsory to ensure continued partnership working and consistent improved behaviour.
- Practical support including behaviour audits and development of internal policies and systems - In addition to direct work with students the Outreach Service provide advice and guidance on school and academy internal inclusive systems. This includes reviewing behaviour policies in line with DFE and Ofsted expectations, strategic advice regarding inclusion rooms and systems and internal hierarchies of support and sanctions.
- Targeted work for young people at risk of criminality – The Targeted Outreach Project targets young people who are either at risk of or have been permanently excluded from school and are known to the judicial system or are at risk of anti-social behaviour. The project targets specific risk taking behaviours including the use and carrying of offensive weapons, substance misuse, exploitation, radicalisation, healthy relationships and gangs and joint enterprise. We actively encourage parents to engage in the project and offer Parenting Workshops to provide information, help and guidance to parents on local and national support agencies.
- Mediation regarding anti-bullying and discriminatory behaviours - Friendship and conflict difficulties between peer groups, cyber bullying and the use of social media to target specific individuals are addressed using restorative approaches. This can include individual or group conferencing to tackle social issues leading to bullying behaviours in school.
- Restorative approaches to mediate between pupils, staff and parents - Where a student’s behaviour has led to tension between school staff and parents, the outreach team can use restorative justice to facilitate mediation between all parties with the objective to address and overcome difficulties leading to break downs in communication and improved future relationships between all parties.
- Transition Support- A programme including one day workshop designed to provide early transitional support to students who have struggled to settle in the secondary provision because of challenging behaviour which could place them at early risk of exclusion.
- Substance Misuse Workshops- Designed as a targeted support programme aimed at educating young people of the risks associated with substance misuse through the use of planned intervention. This is delivered by our qualified substance misuse officers.
- Accredited Peer Mentor Programme- Peer Mentors are selected from KS4 and KS5 mainstream schools and academies and trained to deliver 1:1 sessions to students in KS3 covering a range of topics which often form barriers to learning resulting from exclusion from school.
- Training provided to governors, teachers and school teams - To ensure a whole school approach to managing behaviour effectively, training on Pastoral Support Programmes, Exclusion Processes and Procedures and Behaviour Management is offered to school teams and governors.
- Refocus Programme and Long Term Provision for students in primary and secondary phase - The Outreach Team work in partnership with Horizons Academy Bexley regarding students who attend short and long term programmes. Reintegration support is offered to all students returning to mainstream school with shared resources and positive strategies modelled to mainstream school teams to ensure consistent support and continued improved behaviour.
- Managed moves to Bexley and neighbouring local authorities - Where a student resides outside of the London Borough of Bexley, a managed move may be considered to the home borough where appropriate. The Outreach Team oversee a local and cross borough manage move protocol to ensure swift and timely access for all students where a fresh start at a new school is considered to be an appropriate pathway.
- Exclusion advice to Head Teachers and Governors - Advice is provided to schools and governing bodies regarding alternatives to permanent exclusion. A full report of intervention is submitted where students who have been permanently excluded have received intervention from the outreach service.