• 28.10.22
  • News

Autumn Newsletter

Welcome to the Switch Midlands Autumn Newsletter 2022.


Read on to find out all the details about our recent successful Alternative Provision Quality Assurance Audit, plus information about the great services for schools we’ve been delivering this half-term.


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Welcome to the Switch Midlands Autumn Newsletter for 2022. As the end of this half-term fast approaches, we wanted to share with you our recent successes - plus what’s on offer for your school next half term.

Alternative Provision Quality Assurance

We were delighted to take part in the recent City of Wolverhampton Council’s Quality Assurance Audit for Alternative Provision. From the audit we received fantastic feedback on our service, scoring 15 out of 15 on the quality framework.

“The Alternative Provision is offering outstanding provision aligned to our vision for excellence in alternative provision. The AP has met all quality standards for alternative provision set by City of Wolverhampton Council and offers exceptional provision for children and young people in need of a specialist, time bounded, alternative curriculum. It provides a model for excellence in alternative provision that CWC is pleased to work with as it builds strong local SEND and AP partnerships.”

Running 3 days per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), with an ethos of an early intervention, preventative approach to exclusions, the support places emphasis on the building, repairing and maintaining of positive relationships. This enables pupils to develop new skills in the social and emotional learning concepts of self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self management and relationship skills. From our experience we know that better results are achieved if pupils access both our service and school at the same time, and so this part-time offer is vital to it's success.

Pupils receive the Open Awards Badge of Excellence for participating, and we can offer a flexible combination of days to schools wishing to refer next half-term.


The Switch Squad

Our Switch Squad outreach service has continued to make a positive impact in primary schools. Covering the PSHE Association and DfE physical health, mental wellbeing and relationship education objectives, each session is delivered in your setting by our trained and experienced practitioners. The support can be tailored as either a universal lesson or a targeted intervention for pupils who are considered at risk or vulnerable. Through using the key concepts of Social & Emotional Learning (Cefai et al. 2018) sessions include:

  • “I AM” session based on self-awareness and being able to understand personal identity and what contributes to who we are (e.g. ethnicity, family, gender, faith, culture, hobbies)

  • “I CARE” session based on social-awareness and being able to recognise that there are different types of relationships (e.g. friendships, family, romantic and online relationships).

  • “I CAN” session based on self-management and that everyday things can affect feelings. We reflect on the importance of expressing those feelings and how to judge whether how we are behaving is appropriate and proportionate

  • “I WILL” session based on social-management and that in society people can expect to be treated with respect, and that in turn they should show respect to others. Pupils also learn about discrimination, what it means and how to challenge it.

“The willingness to tailor sessions to meet our pupils' needs was great. Switch staff engaged with us, and the dialogue was so helpful. They built a positive relationship and all pupils were treated as individuals and with respect. Even after week two some of the students were putting things in place that they took from the session, which was positive to see.”


The N-WORD Events

During Black History Month we have delivered ‘The N-Word’ to fantastic schools and pupils from all over the country. The workshops were either targeted at small groups, or delivered universally to whole school years. The aim of the events was to help pupils understand the impact of racism, how words have the power to both hurt and heal, how race is a part of identity and how we must challenge stereotypes.

“The workshop was incredible - we had a panel of young, black role models that talked openly about race and the impact racism has had on them. Our pupils felt comfortable and empowered to ask questions and explore the topic.”

Such has been the success of the events, we are carrying on with delivery throughout the autumn and winter. If your school has not yet accessed the sessions, please contact us today to find out more.


Staff Training and Development

Switched On Schools is a coaching programme combining 1-to-1s and group ‘Coaching Circles’ with colleagues from education settings from across the region. The support is suited to, but not limited to, those school staff with inclusion, pastoral, mental health/wellbeing, safeguarding and behaviour responsibilities.

Coaching is proving to have a significant positive impact in schools and forms a highly effective part of CPD. It enables professionals to receive a personalised network of support, whilst also taking part in valuable, contextual dialogue that helps to problem solve, improve wellbeing, and enhance performance.

The programme consists of both monthly 1-to-1 coaching sessions and half-termly ‘Coaching Circles,’ all facilitated and led by our CEO and Founder Tim Wakefield. Tim is an experienced practitioner, with qualifications in coaching and mentoring, educational leadership and SEMH, plus 15 years in the Alternative Provision sector, school governance and a Senior Mental Health Lead coach.

All sessions are online with 1-to-1s delivered flexibly depending on an individual’s availability, and coaching circles delivered as twilight sessions. There are 8 places per coaching circle, with the potential for new dates being added when the circle becomes full. Each coaching circle has a topic theme, and includes discussions and resources linked with the coaching circle title.

  • Wednesday November 23rd – “Nurturing positive, effective and supportive school relationships and policies.”

  • Wednesday February 8th – “Mental Wellbeing in schools and how to support pupils, parents and colleagues.”

  • Wednesday March 22nd – “Managing difficult conversations and challenging behaviours.”

  • Wednesday May 10th – “Identifying and managing a range of mental health and wellbeing interventions.”

  • Wednesday June 28th – “Looking forward – recognising your signature strengths and impact of values on well-being.”


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