‘Love and Care for the Young People’
Employability Solutions is a registered Independent School offering fulltime alternative secondary education for 11–19 year olds in Liverpool and West Yorkshire. The school is an Ofsted accredited provision with currently 39 students on roll at the Liverpool site and 52 on roll at the Huddersfield site.
Employability Solutions was established in 2012, with the vision to empower young people to take responsibility for their own development and unleash their potential. As an Ofsted ‘good’ provider, the Leaders feel confident in the educational offer. On the school’s website the Founder and Proprietor shares their belief that “Alternative Education should be just that… ‘alternative to, not less than’ mainstream education”.
Employability Solutions welcomes students who have been, or are about to be, excluded from a mainstream school; have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); have social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH); are looked after children; have been out of education for significant periods of time or have left primary school as low attainers, with most coming from areas of high deprivation.
Students are allocated places either through direct contact from schools who feel they are unable to meet their complex needs or via the Local Authority. The school supports the most disaffected young people in society and welcomes them with love and care. The school’s mission is “to transform young lives and build resilient communities through high-quality alternative education”. Staff at Employability Solutions “love and care for the young people of our community and feel it’s our duty to nurture and support them when they face significant barriers to learning and work”.
‘Rebuild Their Confidence’
Prior to attending Employability Solutions, all students have experienced difficulties in achieving success in mainstream education. These challenges stem from various factors, including learning difficulties, disabilities, emotional and social difficulties, as well as a preferred learning style that may not align with a mainstream curriculum or large class sizes organised solely by age. Leaders explain how most of the students exhibit low self-esteem and harbour a belief that they are incapable of achieving success. It is the school’s primary objective to “rebuild their confidence” and instil in them the understanding that they possess the potential to surpass expectations and “become the best versions of themselves”.
Wraparound pastoral provision plays a vital role in guiding and nurturing the students at Employability Solutions. During the initial induction process, the Pastoral Lead listens attentively to the stories shared by the young people to truly understand their needs and concerns. It is crucial to go beyond surface-level issues and delve into what lies beneath to allow the Pastoral Team to put together a comprehensive package of support, ensuring that the individual’s holistic wellbeing is addressed.
While the staff recognise that education is undoubtedly important, they say that education takes a backseat until a strong foundation of trust and connection is established. Relationships become the cornerstone as the staff firmly believe that once they are nurtured, everything else falls into place. Prioritising these relationships allows staff to provide the support and guidance that truly makes a difference in the young people’s lives.
As an inclusive community, everyone is welcomed into the school with open arms, creating an atmosphere that truly feels like family. At Employability Solutions, young people can embrace their identities and express themselves freely. Their safety and wellbeing are prioritised by all staff. The students are involved in shaping the provision. Leaders actively consult the students, valuing their perspectives and experiences and incorporate their skills and talents into the curriculum. By recognising and nurturing their unique abilities, the school strives to provide a learning environment which empowers the young people.
Through observations and discussions with the students during the assessment day, it is evident that they have a highly positive perception of Employability Solutions. They appreciate various aspects of the school, ranging from the smaller class sizes and slower pace to the excellent teachers, friendly environment and genuine care they receive. The students unanimously express their admiration for the teachers and support staff. Unlike their previous experiences, they appreciate that the staff do not treat them “like robots” but rather as trusted young adults. The teachers go above and beyond their academic duties by treating students like family, providing emotional support and creating a safe and nurturing environment.
Respect and Unconditional Regard
The students talk about how the staff treat them with respect and unconditional regard. They appreciate the genuine care and understanding they receive, ensuring that their voices are heard and their individual needs are met. The students feel safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns with the adults in the school, who provide comfort and guidance. This sense of security encourages an atmosphere where students can flourish academically and emotionally.
At the core, Senior Leaders value their team. They trust the staff and believe in fostering a work environment where everyone feels welcome and included, not just within the organisation but extending beyond. At the heart of the Leaders’ approach is a deep trust in the staff, knowing they possess the knowledge and skills to make impactful decisions. Leaders invest in the growth and development of the employees, equipping them with the tools and resources needed to excel in their roles and contribute to the overall success of the organisation.
The school strives to make a direct and meaningful impact on the communities it serves. They aim to create a ripple effect that reaches beyond the school, leaving a lasting impression on the surrounding area. The company’s progressive approach is to redistribute 100% of its profits, ensuring that the community is well taken care of while providing ample resources for its dedicated staff to allow them to support the young people effectively.
Our Assessor added, “For the IQM assessment, the IQM Coordinator and Senior Leadership Team provided wide-ranging evidence to validate the process. I was welcomed into the school (in person and virtually) with warmth. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and it was a pleasure to meet the staff and pupils.”
If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:
028 7127 7857 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
or email: [email protected] for further details.
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