All our schools are prepared and resourced to admit the most challenging of young people: those who need emotional and behavioural support, and those who present mental health challenges. We strive to provide quality education programmes to meet the individual needs and currently have 88% of our schools rated Good or above with Ofsted.
We offer provision that is based on the National Curriculum and will include access at a minimum to core subjects (Literacy, Numeracy, Science and ICT), in addition to a vocational curriculum, physical education, humanities, citizenship, PSE incorporating religious studies.
All our schools work with local colleges and alternative provider partnerships to ensure that pupils can have a broad menu of experiences available to them to accommodate their preferred learning style. Through learning develop their strengths and interests, improve their effectiveness and sense of self-worth, with the hope that they do not enter the NEET category.
The local environment and community are one of our greatest assets and resources where we can provide pupils with concrete experiential learning opportunities to facilitate confidence building. The pupils trust themselves and the community, and to develop the skills to function efficiently in the outside world and establish a secure understanding of the need to keep themselves safe.
There are occasions where outside agencies will come to the school and support and inform, and reinforce the need to develop a sense of responsibility to others.
Although there are some specialist variations to the following description, Keys provide unique or alternative education services broadly across the following types of school:
- Day schools
- Hub schools
- Schools on the site of a care home
- Alternative education provision
- Day Schools are those that admit day pupils who usually reside with their families, or are in foster care.
Pupils in these circumstances may have experienced difficulty previously in sustaining learning in mainstream provision. They may be considered as being hard to place children; or be at risk of being a Child Missing Education (CME) over a long-term; or, be vulnerable because of learning or mental health challenges; or, be at risk of being criminalised, or, be permanently excluded; or, a combination of these conditions. Exclusion from mainstream or pupil referral units would usually arise because of challenging behaviours or criminal activities that place themselves, other pupils, or, the staff at risk, and because the school is not able to meet the pupils’ educational needs. Quite often these children are referred to us from local academies, and PRUs where contracting the services of a Keys school is about pupil enrichment.
Day Schools may also admit young people who are Looked After Children; it is not necessarily the case that such pupils are residents in Keys Homes. Day Schools will often have a high level of adult supervision so that small groups can be managed. Day Schools may have pupils on their roll that may require home education.
Overall this intervention aims at supporting disaffected learners to prevent disengagement from learning, and to rebuild their confidence and self-belief to be able to return to their parent school and to provide viable alternative directions upon which these young people can build their futures.
ii) Hub Schools, as the name implies, may be centrally placed sites that provide education services for Looked After Children from more than one Keys Home and that are reasonably local to the hub school. They may also admit day pupils from the community who are not Looked After Children, but for reasons cited above may benefit from being educated in small groups where there is a high level of adult supervision. There may be circumstances requiring that a child is supported with their education in their home – be it a Keys home or their family, or, foster care home.
iii) Schools in the site of Care Homes are often exclusively – although not necessarily so – for the residents of the care homes to which services are offered.
Hubs and schools on the site of care homes offer pupils access to the national curriculum. Some schools are registered for KS2 pupils, most will focus on KS3 and KS4, and may offer an extension to learning opportunities for post 16s.
There may be circumstances requiring that a child is supported with their education in their home – be it a Keys home, foster care, or, family home. Keys will apply a protocol to initiate this with the aim of phasing the young person into a school setting that is appropriate to meet their needs in the interests of inclusion and social development.
iv) Alternative Education Provisions (AEP), provide an alternative education programme for those pupils who are at risk of exclusion due to their challenging behaviour. They provide the promotion of inclusion through work and activity related learning, supported by an educational, vocational and enterprise network. They aim to provide a non-formal learning environment leading to formal qualifications. These Colleges offer a curriculum model based on personal development and employability skills, providing opportunities for pupils to learn life skills involved in managing their work, lives and relationships.
The curriculum has three strands which are academic, vocational and activities with the aim of introducing the pupils to a wide range of knowledge, skills and experiences. The curriculum emphasises the need to acquire necessary skills in literacy and numeracy with the delivery of functional skills in English and Maths being embedded in all activities. Pupils have access to a range of vocational experiences, for example, horticulture, mechanics, hair and beauty providing relevant qualifications.