At the heart of our partnerships programme is a determination to enact positive change; for the remarkable organisations we work with and in our boys. Measuring change cannot be done through statistics alone. For our Voices: Partnerships Impact Report 22/23 we used a framework of data capture based on the Most Significant Change Technique. We asked our partnership community and our boys about their experiences. These conversations were transcribed and shared without editing, capturing true voices.
Pauline Wileman, Deputy Head of Fitzharrys School in Abingdon, shares her partnership story.
We are always looking for different opportunities for our young people. Sometimes that’s young people who might have special educational needs and other additional needs, or just young people where the mainstream environment just is not the right fit for them. We struggle within school with our resources and staffing to be able to provide enough reasonable adjustment to make school a successful place for those young people. Often, we are looking for things that are a bit more practical, that allow our students to develop skills. It is also about their well-being and mental health, because often these young people suffer from low self-esteem, school is a negative experience. Some students display challenging behaviours at school that might present itself in terms of not going to lessons at all. So quite a large amount of disengagement. We try to build a more positive relationship with education and that might be an education that looks a little bit different to traditional education in school.
Having visited and spoken to the staff at Radley, we felt it would engage our students. Being practical, it gives them the opportunity to have success and build their confidence. That is important. We are thrilled with the results and the behaviours that you see here; we see more of that good, positive behaviour when they are back in school. There has been a reduction in behavioural incidents at school. The biggest thing I have noticed is that the students are happy, more grounded. They talk positively about their experience here and smile, one boy lights up when he talks about something that has had a positive impact on him; it’s incredibly important.