Advocacy in Schools - UPDATE-

Tips was funded for 1 year by Awards for All to run this project.

The proposal was presented to Schools and PRUs in Waltham Forest; we were called 3 times for interviews but this did not come about for one reason or the other.

The proposal was taken to Newham; it was accepted by the parents but not the schools.  The parents mostly with SEN children welcome the programme.

During our research Tips discovered the main reason why the project was not taken-up by schools - most children with SEN had not been assessed so there was no care packages in place for them.  Paradoxically, the project would have enabled schools to recognise these young people and, where possible, have them assessed with the right support put in place for them. Tips recognised that the process is expensive and time consuming but, at the end of the day, the children would gain and have a better future.

Tips was able to support most children referred by their parents. A typical example - there was one family whose daughter’s hearing was impaired.  The young person was taught sign language at school where she had no problems in communicating with her peers.  At home the situation was different because her parents or siblings didn’t know how to sign; sp there were no communication at home.  Tips were able to enlist the help of the school, to teach the other siblings’ sign language, and parents were able to attend the school once per week where they also learn to sign.

This project is ongoing although there is no funding at present.  The parents can contact Tips for more information

Parental Advocacy Project

Tips4choices is a non-profit organisation with a mission to help young people to fulfil their potential by working with both the young person and all adults that look after or work with them. We provide training, education and information for a variety of roles and situations - especially for families that have children in care or are engaged in Child Protection Processes.

Tips4choices would like to introduce schools to the Parental Advisory Project. The project is devised to work with parents, the school and the young person to prevent exclusion. Parental Advisory Project offers:

  • An independent advisory service to work with the school, parents and young person to promote effective communication.
  • Support parents to comply with the school on issues pertaining to the young person’s education.
  • Support the school, young person and parents to communicate using cooperative language.
  • Assist parents in liaising with the educator in the interest of the young person.
  • To promote inter-agency collaboration and communication.
  • Engage parents in the young person’s learning.
  • To support parents and young person who has already been excluded by getting them back to education or training.

Aim

The aim of the Parental Advisory Project is to target:-

  • Schools with high exclusion rate.
  • Teachers in terms of referrals and collaboration.
  • Young people who have been excluded or at risk of exclusion.
  • The parents in terms of support.

Support

  • Support will be given to the schools to make sure the parents and young person understand and adhere to their policies and procedures.
  • The young person will be supported by signposting them to other training opportunities and support services.
  • The parents will be encouraged to work closely with the teachers to meet the young person educational needs, they will be offered parenting classes to address boundaries and behaviour, advocacy and information will also be accessible to the parents.

Referral

Referral to this project can be made by teachers, PRU, the parents or the child. Permission will be sought from parents and the schools before any work can begin with the young person. Parents and school/PRU will be consulted and collaborated with during the work.