We were delighted to host, last week, two members of the Department for Education, Richard Bracey and Tony Moore in Greater Manchester to learn more about our Alternative Provision project, the Right Angle.

The visit was to enable Richard and Tony to see our progress with the Right Angle, which is funded by the Department for Education and to experience some of the fantastic work that we as the Tutor Trust and our partner organisation, TLC: Talk Listen Change are doing.

Our team pulled together a packed schedule which took the visitors across the Northern Quarter, Trafford, Tameside, Manchester University and even included a working lunch in the lovely Shoosmiths office in Spinningfields.

On arrival in Manchester, our colleagues from the Department for Education met key members of the project team from The Tutor Trust at our office. Abigail Shapiro, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Nick Bent Co-Founder and CEO, Jason Heaford Chief Operating Officer, Jo Meredith AP Quality Manager and Beth Farrell AP Project Co-ordinator welcomed our visitors over a morning coffee. Our visitors were then accompanied by Abigail and Jo to Trafford Medical Education Service, where they were able to see some tuition taking place. They were particularly impressed with a young man they spoke to who has been receiving tuition. The student explained that his Tutor, Danish Hafeez, had provided such high-quality Chemistry tuition, that he’s now hoping to study Chemistry at A-Level.

Similarly, another student told our visitors that she’s found both the counselling and tuition combination incredibly helpful. She explained that she is now ahead in her studies and feels more confident. Tony commented:

It was really good to see the work in action, exactly as described in the paperwork”.

We also wanted to ensure our visitors saw the reality of the day-to-day management that is required to make this ambitious project a reality, so they were invited to observe a meeting between TLC: Talk, Listen, Change’s Donna Sergeant, Tutor Trust’s Beth Farrell, Tutor Trust’s Jo Meredith and our Virtual School contact, Sarah Hall. Our visitors were impressed that all of the Right Angle staff were well informed about the issues the young people were experiencing and noted it as a fantastic example of good practice.

During the lunch, Tony and Richard were able to meet additional members of the team including TLC: Talk Listen Change’s CEO Michelle Hill, TLC’s  Head of Counselling Management - Emma Jones-Holding and TLC’s Head of Business Services - Marian Mallery. Jo Meredith, Nick Bent, Donna Sergeant and Beth Farrell enjoyed the working lunch too.

As the therapeutic services that TLC: Talk, Listen, Change provide are by nature, private and confidential, our visitors were not able to observe this work. However, experienced Counsellor Justine Lea-Grime attended the lunch and offered some fantastic insights into the support available for children and young people through the project. She provided demonstrations of creative practice and case studies that are being received positively by the children, young people and their families. Both Tony and Richard commented that they were impressed by the level of expertise of the counselling staff.

Completing the day at the University of Manchester, our visitors were able to experience some tutor training, which was provided by James Emmett from Place2be on Mental Health Awareness and Resilience. They had this to say:

“It was perfect to see the link for tutors between tuition and therapeutic support for mental health provided by counselling and also ensure that the tutors understand how to support mental health in the young people that they tutor.”

We’ve been so fortunate to receive this funding to support children in Alternative Provision and we loved having the opportunity to showcase the fantastic work taking place.

Richard and Tony spoke to some of our tutors working on the Right Angle Project – one tutor told them about his own experience as a cared for young person and another tutor explained that her experience working with young people in Alternative Provision has led to her decision to follow a career in teaching particularly in the sphere of Alternative Provision.

Leaving with a clearer picture of the reality of the project, Richard Bracey remarked:

“It is obvious that the quality of relationships is the key to success in this project. We have seen this as a strength in the whole team, relationships with partners and how everyone works with and for the young people involved”

In addition, we’re happy to announce that Tony Moore will now be joining our Advisory Board. A big thank you to the Department for Education for providing us with an opportunity to showcase the positive impact of our work and of course a big thank you to our project team for their unwavering passion and dedication to this work.

If you were interested in learning more about The Right Angle and how we got started, just click here.