ReconnectEd aims to contribute towards a more inclusive society which allows every young person to achieve their potential. Our objectives are to increase the life chances of young people in deprived areas in partnership with the local community.
ReconnectEd aims to break the cycle between school exclusion and prison (1 in 2 adult prisoners were school excluded) through its preventative and trauma-informed emotion programme which addresses the root causes of school exclusion, crime and violence.
ReconnectEd Coaches use emotion coaching to help to improve the self-regulation of the targeted young people, giving them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and breaking down barriers between home and school. We use a pioneering mental wellbeing assessment tool through STEER to identify needs and create action plans for each young person so that they can start to make better choices.
We work closely in partnership with the Trust, schools, PCSO, local youth groups, families and SYVRU. The Trust employs and match funds the Coaches, we run a locally led Advisory Group, and attend the SYVRU’s Preventing Violence Forum to ensure joined-up working to address the issues in the Police & Crime Plan.
The programme is based in an extremely deprived part of Sheffield, which is a national cold spot for school exclusions (Centre for Social Justice, 2020) and serious youth violence (Department for Education, 2021). Both schools, Yewlands Academy and Mansel Primary School, where our programme is based, are within Southey Ward, the second most deprived ward in Sheffield and also one of 225 ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods in England (Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion). Recent data states that 83% of children who were cautioned or sentenced for an offence in Sheffield had ever been suspended in comparison to 72% nationally (Department for Education).
The programme is evidence-based and trauma-informed: We use freely available resources from the Harvard Centre for Child Development and Oxford University, for the Alberta Family Wellness Trust, who have together produced The Brain Story which uses an evidence-based training package and blended learning approach to teach the learner about the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Evidence suggests that exclusions from school and deprivation are linked to violence and we know that the pandemic has had a negative impact on some young people’s social skills as well as their mental wellbeing. We also know that poor mental health increases the risk of exclusion and ‘persistent disruptive behaviour’ is the main cause of exclusion. There is much evidence to support the importance of caring and nurturing relationships, especially through an emotion coaching approach, in making a difference to young people’s life chances. We have identified a lack of longer-term approaches to address the root causes of exclusion in order to create lasting change. This is why our programme includes daily provision, as needed, for the young people, their families and schools for up to 3.5 years.
ReconnectEd’s leadership team has nearly 7 decades of experience in helping marginalised young people to achieve their potential. This experience is within the education and not-for-profit sectors (governance and senior executive roles) in both school settings (Alternative Provision, PRU, Special School & OFSTED) and local and national charities serving young people. Two of our leaders also have an academic background in psychology. The CEO also has a personal connection with the issue of permanent school exclusion as her brother was excluded from school.
Each of our 3 ReconnectEd Coaches live locally and have worked within the North Sheffield community for many years so have a real understanding of the issues facing the young people. Two of the Coaches are alumnae of one of the schools where our programme is based, and one of the Coaches has experienced school exclusion. Our Coach Supervisor comes with a great range of skills and experience from youth work, work within the criminal justice system, local government and as an Emotion Coaching Trainer. She is currently a PhD student researching the criminal exploitation of children through County Lines Drug Networks and facilitates county lines awareness training.
The funding and support provided by SYVRU have been transformative for ReconnectEd, enabling us to get the coaching programme up and running in our critical early stages. We cannot thank SYVRU enough. In September 2023 we launched our first ever Impact Report which you can read HERE. In our first six months 100% of our first pupil cohort are eligible for Free School Meals and experience extreme
adversity so it was uplifting to see that:
– Suspensions decreased by nearly 25%
– Internal Exclusions decreased by over 50%
– There were no permanent exclusions
– There was 100% increase in the self-regulation of our priority pupils according to STEER data
– There was 100% pupil retention
Case study: Jack (name anonymised) struggled to cope in mainstream school, truanting from every lesson and at serious risk of permanent exclusion. Our ReconnectEd Coaches worked with the school’s SEND team to expedite an appointment for Jack with the Local Authority so he could receive the support he needed at school and at home.
Our Coaches ensured Jack attended appointments, helped him to become aware of why assessments were being made and worked closely with Jack’s mother to ensure she understood and could accommodate Jack’s needs. Now Jack is engaging in lessons, aware of others and able to articulate what he needs before it reaches crisis point.
“Since working with my child, he has had positive phone calls home, good, continual staff support and he has been slowly reintegrated back into mainstream lessons.”
Parent of ReconnectEd pupil
“Rachael and Kim have listened to me, supported me, helped me with things, and told me what to do to get the help.”
For more information please contact Alex Hanratty, CEO & Co-Founder, on firstname.lastname@example.org