Year in Review: Richard Bell – A year full of challenges, trials and tribulations

This story is over

Having gone into our third year of business, 2019 has been a year full of challenges, trials and tribulations. Through perseverance and determination during these difficult times, we have now seen our hard work and patience pay off. Our George Johnson Education Centre is now a registered Independent School, our Outreach Services are supporting more and more schools and families through our holistic approach and our training is continuing to increase the knowledge and skill sets of school staff and their ability to support young people with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

Becoming a registered Independent School in September was a significant development for SESN and meant we are on track for our 10 by ’20 growth plans. This however was a six-month application process and during a difficult time meant we either wrapped up the business and put it down as good experience or where we endured and persisted towards the businesses’ targets.

With a strong belief that there is great value in our provision and what SESN offer, we knew it was worth battling through ‘the dip’. It is credit to the team at SESN, who have invested the time, the energy and the effort through the uncertainty whilst maintaining high standards and not allowing it to impact on those young people we have supported last academic year. We have not settled for average when that could have been the easier option, we have all embraced the challenges and this is all starting to pay off.

Our Independent School status has allowed us to offer so much more to the young people we support. With the increasing need to offer a more inclusive provision to meet the needs of young people with SEMH we have now opened a KS3 site for years 7 & 8 which will allow us to offer more consistency and support at an earlier stage.

Throughout 2019 we have increased our ‘Network’ through developing positive relationships with local providers allowing us to enhance our own provision and what our students can access. We have developed a positive relationship with soundLINCS to offer further enrichment of music delivery. We have begun working with University of Lincoln and their College of Social Science to offer work experience placement to their 3rd year students and we have a number of exciting new partnerships developing which we plan to launch in 2020.

Through our three-part delivery model, our Outreach Services is increasing in demand whereby we offer a holistic approach to SEMH by working alongside the young person’s school and their home environment. This provides effective intervention and strategies to make the young person’s learning environment more inclusive by increasing the school’s understanding of and meeting the young person’s complex needs.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the SESN team for all their efforts through a difficult year. However, through their dedication and commitment to the business and to the young people we support we are able to continue to offer a quality education and wellbeing provision to support to those who are unable to access mainstream education and need a more individualised, nurturing, learning environment.

SESN is looking forward to a positive 2020. We have further plans to expand with the introduction of our KS3 provision as well as additional satellite sites, each providing a different offer to meet the individualised interests and needs of the young person.

I wish all the City X readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year.