Our Bespoke Education Support Team (BEST) is a new initiative that caters for high needs, predominantly 16+ students, who have unfortunately proved too difficult to place and who therefore find themselves ‘between services’ and outside of any formal educational provision.
Our standard model of delivery provides 3 days a week education (as is usual for 16+ students); however, we interpret the word ‘education’ in its widest sense because academic study is not always the primary focus (although we do engage all our young people in individualised 1:1 classroom based learning within their personalised timetables and can deliver this at GCSE/BTEC Level as required).
The team consists of ASD Teachers/Tutors, Counsellors and experienced Case Workers who work both on and off site; at home and in the community; and in constant liaison with families and other agencies.
Due to the demand for such a service, we have successfully submitted an application to have a dedicated on site purpose made building which will house an ASD friendly classroom; a sensory learning space; a social skills area; a life skills kitchen; and an outside vocational/sensory garden, which will open in October 2019.
The current programme incorporates community based work, developing life and social skills, interacting with the public as well as attending an age appropriate high needs social group centre. We focus on reducing social isolation and encourage peer mentoring. Family welfare support, systemic and dyadic therapy is also offered and is viewed as an essential part of our overall work.
We focus on learning functional skills and promote independence and have access to a bank of community based resources. The majority of our off site work is supported on a 2:1 basis and any on site work is supported on at least a 1:1 ratio when participating in group engagement activities. We are very keen to work with other agencies to signpost ‘where next’ and ensure we are working towards realistic and holistic future outcomes for all students.
Input can also be afforded via our OT and SaLT team to carry out any outstanding assessments and coordinate individual programmes accordingly.
Similarly, direct Psychotherapeutic intervention to address underlying Mental Health issues and anxiety can also be commissioned at an additional cost, but advice and consultation is provided as standard.