Our Outreach Service currently comprises 8 Outreach Teachers who cover most primary and secondary schools in Lewisham Borough. Most of our schools are entitled to weekly support with an allocated Outreach teacher. Schools who do not have this entitlement may still contact us and we will aim to support them for a period of time. We encourage schools to sign our SLA, which outlines the main principles of the Outreach Service
Our main focus is to support each individual school and provide a bespoke service for them. Depending on the schools current need we may work with: individual students, small groups, undertake observations, provide teacher support and talk to parents. We also encourage visits to New Woodlands by staff from mainstream and other special schools. Pupils and parents who may be experiencing unresolvable issues in their mainstream schools are also welcome to visit us and speak to a relevant member of our staff.
A key part of our service is extending the professional development that our Outreach Teachers need to best support schools and we do this by taking account of the feedback from schools as well as addressing the needs highlighted by the Local Authority.
Outreach Service Referral
In order to refer a student to our Outreach Service we ask schools to complete a referral form which highlights the key behaviour concerns and issues to be addressed. We would then expect a minimum of a six-week period to work with the pupil and, where applicable, supporting adults. We will plan for interventions and further support strategies by way of addressing the needs of the pupil and how to best manage these within the setting of their mainstream placement.
Part of the Outreach teacher’s role is to facilitate a placement at New Woodlands School when required. Our procedure has recently been reviewed and made more robust to ensure that a placement at NWS is used to support a pupil as the last resort. Our Outreach Teachers will provide a report and assist both schools and parents in the preparation for this placement. Once at NWS, staff provide a variety of interventions that are tailored to support a pupil’s specified individual behaviour and learning needs and we will continue to assess with a view to reintegrating that pupil back to mainstream education.
Once our pupils have earned their Gold Merit we will look to reintegrate them back to their mainstream school. This is one of our core goals or, if a fresh start is more appropriate, we use the Fair Access Panel to find them a suitable school. Our Outreach Teachers will again support the schools and parent/carers in this transition and also provide support to the pupil once they have started back in their designated school. We also try to involve our behaviour mentors who have worked with our pupils while at NWS towards managing this transition. We find this helps the pupils feel supported whilst they are developing new relationships with the key people they will be working with in their mainstream school.