Paperwork into Reality: The Department for Education Visits The Right Angle

It’s not very often that we’re lucky enough to have a visit from the Department for Education, so when we were told that Richard Bracey and Tony Moore would be attending Greater Manchester to learn more about our project – The Right Angle, we were delighted!

The visit was to enable Richard and Tony to learn more about the work, which is funded by the Department for Education and see some of the fantastic work that we as TLC: Talk, Listen, Change and our partner organisation, The Tutor Trust are developing.

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.

After meeting key members of the project team at The Tutor Trust, our visitors were taken to Trafford Medical Education Service where they were welcomed by Deputy Headteacher, Emma Keen. They were able to see some tuition taking place and were particularly impressed with a young man they spoke to, who has been receiving this support. The student explained that his Tutor – Danish Hafeez, had provided such high-quality tutoring, particularly in the subject of Chemistry, 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”.
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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 and our Virtual School contact, Sarah Hall. Our visitors commented on the passion and commitment the staff had for the young people they were supporting, were impressed that our 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 our CEO Michelle Hill, Head of Counselling Management - Emma Jones-Holding and Head of Business Services - Marian Mallery.

Photo: Working lunch with Department for Education, TLC: Talk, Listen, Change & The Tutor Trust Staff

As the therapeutic services that we as 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 Manchester University, our visitors were able to experience some tutor training, which was provided by James Emmett from Place2be on Mental Health Awareness and Resilience. They commented -

“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.”
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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.

Photo: James Emmett (Place2Be) providing training at Manchester University on Mental Health Awareness & Resilience 

Leaving with a clearer picture of the reality of the project, we’re happy that this work has reached the Department for Education who can see the real difference the funding is making in Greater Manchester. Richard Bracey says -

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
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In addition, we’re happy to announce that Tony Moore will now be joining our Advisory Board, who will be meeting in June to discuss the success of the project and how it can continue to flourish even more over the coming months. Hopes continue to be high for the project and we spoke to our Project Manager, Donna Sergeant, who said –

“Today provided us with an opportunity to give a snap shot of the work that’s taking place for The Right Angle. This project is unique in its ethos and delivery and the impact we are already seeing across Greater Manchester on young people has been incredibly encouraging. We are supporting children and young people in a way that addresses complex needs from the root, taking into account the full picture of what is happening in their lives with a view to providing sustainability beyond the project.

This will allow the children and young people to grow, develop and hopefully, acquire coping strategies and life skills that will support them throughout their education and beyond in to adulthood.  It is our goal to support every child and young person that we work with  to aim high in terms of their dreams and aspirations. We believe that they can be whoever they want to be”.

A big thank you to the Department for Education for providing us with an opportunity to showcase the positive impact of our work. Thanks to Shoosmiths for hosting us for our lunch meeting 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.

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