Testimonial from Virtual School, Newcastle

Regular communication between carers and staff ensures that they can locate a student if they are absent from the provision. In the primary setting in particular they also know how a young person is presenting before they begin their session so can adapt activities and expectations accordingly in order for the session to be successful.

Any concerns or difficulties are fed back to carers at the end of a session, and also documented in the young person’s weekly report. The provision also encourages visits from members of the care team and referring partners in order to get to know the team around the child and to gain as much necessary background information as possible to make safeguarding procedures effective.

The emotional progress made by our students so far is excellent. Both students had experienced multiple failed placements in mainstream schools before attending Total Tuition. Our primary student has almost 100% attendance and has been able to stay in the provision for the entirety of his session, which he was previously unable to do. Provision staff have persevered and have been able to form a positive relationship with our secondary student. She is now engaging in online lessons and competing work at home, whereas she was completely disengaged from education in the past.

Academically, our students are making steady progress. Staff are very aware of each student’s abilities, and have a good understanding of gaps in their knowledge. They have tailored teaching activities to address missing basic skills. Our primary student is now working on some of the objectives from his chronological year group, whereas previously he was only able to access learning from younger year groups. Our secondary student is being equipped with learning to enable her to sit skills tests in future, having previously shown no inclination to obtain formal qualifications.

We receive weekly written feedback in the form of a report for each of our students. The reports are clear and positive. They detail what a young person has been working on in each subject, and what their next steps are. They also describe how a young person has engaged with the setting and the learning that week.

The reports are also honest, and will say if a young person has refused to engage or has displayed difficult behaviour, and will often describe how staff have attempted to overcome these difficulties. They do not try to hide unsuccessful attempts at engagement, and are clear that each day session is a fresh start. I look forward to reading the reports for our students each week to see what positive feedback staff have given.

Parents/carers receive the same weekly reports that we do, and these are accompanied by daily conversations or regular emails with carers to give more in-depth feedback about a session.

Carers have been very positive about the communication between themselves and the provision staff, and are quick to say how positive staff are about a student’s time in the provision.

We feel that Total Tuition is an excellent setting which addresses the needs of our students brilliantly. The setup is perfect for those who are unable to engage in group learning, as it allows them to learn on a 1:1 basis, but also builds in opportunities to develop group learning skills. The provision has already surpassed our expectations with what we believed was possible for our young people, and we look forward to seeing just how much they are able to achieve in the future.

Our young people are very positive about the provision; our primary student says that he loves going to school!

Jen and Janice have a real passion for working with students for whom mainstream schools and group settings are not suitable.

They have a wealth of experience with disengaged students, and so a deep understanding of the needs of vulnerable learners. They possess a “can do” attitude, and this is clearly reflected in all of the staff in the provision. Jen and Janice’s approach to education is refreshing.

Their entire focus is on the needs of their students, and we very much look forward to working more closely with them both as they expand their provision to enable more students to experience bespoke learning.

Virtual School – Newcastle