Switch Midlands who provides support for pupils who have been or at risk of being excluded
Updated: Feb 5
Hello! My name is Lucy Coy, and I am a co-host of HeadteacherChat. I am delighted to have been given access to Switch Midlands to see what they have on offer to support schools. I thought you would be interested to know what I discovered!
Read the full review below...
How does the Switch Midlands describe their product?
Switch Midlands has been a vital part of the Wolverhampton education landscape for over a decade, offering alternative provision for pupils excluded, or at risk of exclusion, from school. The social enterprise has successfully delivered support for pupils, their families, and schools - with interventions placing emphasis on the strength and safety of building, repairing, and maintaining positive relationships.
Tim Wakefield, Founder and CEO of Switch Midlands, explains “2020 was our tenth anniversary, but it wasn’t quite how we expecting to celebrate! It did however give us the opportunity to reflect and plan for the future. We looked a great deal at our values and the impact of our alternative provision model and whilst Alternative Provision is an option that offers vital support for a number of pupils, it is not the right path for many and costs to schools are unsustainable. As a result, we have developed a new outreach approach to helping schools support some of their most at-risk pupils, and ultimately try to reduce the numbers of exclusions.”
In Autumn 2020, Switch worked with the national charity Barnardo's, with funding from the DfE, to develop and test a new early intervention outreach service in Wolverhampton, the ‘Switch Coach Programme.’ This enabled Switch staff experienced in a range of disciplines such as behaviour management, mental health first aid, restorative practice and coaching and mentoring, to help support pupils in both primary and secondary school settings. The support was hugely positive and saw Switch Midlands work with 100 pupils across 16 schools between September and December 2020.
Due to the success of the programme, Switch Midlands is once again pleased to be funded by Barnardo’s and can now offer this support FREE until Easter via remote wellbeing check-in sessions, available to any schools across the country wishing to access the service. The online sessions support pupils’ positive wellbeing during the current lockdown and are delivered by Switch Coaches who cover topics to give children and young people the tools to address social and emotional issues that may be impacting on them, such as staying safe, positive relationships, self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.
Switch Midlands provides support for pupils who have been or at risk of being excluded.
Switch Midlands deliver 1 to 1 or small group interventions tailored to your pupils’ needs.
Their offer addresses the essential components of personal development and emotional well-being, including relationships, self-confidence, self-efficacy, communication skills, positive mindset, and attitude.
Offers a recognised qualification in mentoring that pupils can gain that helps to cascade positive personal development, behaviour and wellbeing practices throughout your school.
It is delivered by trained staff who all have the enhanced DBS checks and safeguarding qualification.
Switch Midlands are a high-quality service that produces excellent results.
Currently offer a free online well-being check-in for primary and secondary school pupil.
Currently offer free remote, social, and emotional learning sessions.
What does the team at HeadteacherChat think?
Switch Midlands has HeadteacherChat’s seal of approval.
The Switch Midlands provides schools with outreach for pupils excluded, or at risk of exclusion, from school.
We looked at Switch Midlands and these are our thoughts:
We love this fantastic outreach approach to helping schools support some of their most at-risk pupils, try to reduce the number of exclusions.
Switch provides pupils with an opportunity to gain a qualification, enjoy learning about and make informed decisions around their own personal development, behaviour, welfare, and mental health.
We like it that Switch Coaches who cover topics to give children and young people the tools to address social and emotional issues that may be impacting on them, such as staying safe, positive relationships, self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.
We like the fact that all the support is delivered by fully trained and experienced Switch Coaches.
We love the fact that that the support is evidenced based, using proven programmes all based on therapeutic and nurturing approaches.
We think the project is fantastic and is free until Easter!
How will this be of benefit to schools?
Switch Midlands is ideal for schools who want to support children who are at risk of being excluded.
It is an excellent support system too, enhances the pastoral, behaviour and attendance provision within schools. It supports schools by providing pupils with opportunities to enjoy learning about and make informed decisions around their own personal development, behaviour, welfare, and mental health.
Social and emotional learning is essential for every child. It helps children achieve their academic potential, build strong relationships, and lead healthy, successful lives. It forms the foundation component of Switch programmes - targeting personal traits, motivation and guides conduct so that pupils reflect wisely, behave with integrity, and cooperate consistently with others. Self-management, continuity, building trusting relationships and fostering networks in the school community are all important principles of the support.
Whilst remote learning continues in schools, Switch Midlands demonstrate delivery of personal development, improving pupil’s confidence and resilience, so they can keep themselves mentally healthy.
If your school wants to support children at risk of exclusion, and enhance its pastoral support, Switch Midlands could be your perfect answer.
“Students appeared to build a positive relationship with the Switch Coach, and they treated each individual student with respect and made them feel important.”
School Senior Leadership
“Switch has worked with a number of our students. They offer fantastic support for those young people we believe are in need of additional social, emotional and mental health support.”
School Senior Leadership
“I think Switch is just brilliant. Not only do they support the child, but also the parent/carer if needed. They communicated everything with me and always worked together to find a way forward.”
✓ We love the fact that it supports schools with their most vulnerable learners.
✓ We love the fact that it is currently a free service for schools
✓ We love the fact that 100% of pupils said our Switch Supports had "Made things better."
✓ We love the fact that 90% of pupils said "I feel safer" as a result of taking part.
“Switch Midlands has been a valuable resource for some pupils. It has allowed them to access learning when they have been excluded or are at risk of being excluded. For many of the children, it has allowed them to remain focused on their education, being supported by qualified and capable staff. We would recommend them for those schools who need such a service.”
For more details on how to access this FREE online wellbeing support and to refer pupils, please contact. firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.switchmidlands.com or follow @switchmidlands on social media.