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The AoC NAMSS Beacon Award for Student Services Ben Rowe - Director of Student Services

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The AoC NAMSS Beacon Award for Student Services Ben Rowe - Director of Student Services Yvonne Charalambous - Head of Student Support . The start of our Journey February 2010 New Principal Critical incident - front page of the Sun High numbers of incidents

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The AoC NAMSS Beacon Award for Student Services

  • Ben Rowe - Director of Student Services
  • Yvonne Charalambous - Head of Student Support

The start of our Journey

  • February 2010 New Principal
  • Critical incident - front page of the Sun
  • High numbers of incidents
  • Relationships with the local community declining
  • Increasing travel to Learn
  • Success rates struggling
  • Achievement gaps growing
  • Welfare Services - insular and hidden

The key objective was and remains, to provide an outward facing set of Student Services that:

  • Identify and remove barriers to learning through analysing social, emotional, cultural and behavioural issues
  • Pro-actively improve behaviour, success, retention and achievement
  • Engage students in thinking about how they make positive choices for a better future
  • Provide carefully thought out and timely support and intervention that enables each individual student to reach their potential

How we did it

  • Clear expectations in terms of learning behaviour, both within and outside of the College
  • An innovative student induction programme
  • The use of inspirational role models, theatre groups and workshop sessions to inform decision making and emphasise taking positive choices to improve your future
  • The development of a risk-based approach to provide support that pro-actively works with those who are most at-risk of dropping out
  • Clear marketing campaign around the College and through inductions, tutorials and lessons aimed at establishing ground rules and promoting positive behaviour
  • A new Student Services Team

Targets were set for improving:

  • Incidents rates, severity and behaviour
  • Understanding anti-social behaviour and reducing the negative influence of peers in decision making processes
  • Success, retention and achievement, with a focus particularly on vulnerable groups
  • Participation in extra-curricular activities

The journey


Boy X 2010, PACT 2011, Girl E 2012 - 3 different plays performed at Induction to 3000 full time students; ARC Theatre Company

Addressing the challenges of urban living, actions and consequences, focussing on making positive decisions,.


Impact assessment

  • Control group
  • Impact cohort:
  • Pre intervention assessment
  • Post Intervention assessment
  • Significant Change

Neville Lawrence discusses the consequences of knife crime on victims’ families


But there’s no “One Hit Wonder/Silver bullet” to address such issues so in October 2012 - ARC Theatre Induction was complemented by “Only Connect” and the new SEA” break out/unpacking” sessions

“Live drama has a unique ability to engage young people at a personal and emotional level, offering them an insight into experience through the eyes of immediately identifiable characters.” John Azar - Governor


Induction 2013 - Ex Offender charity “Only Connect” perform “Entourage”focussing on the following key themes:

    • Cyber bullying and sexting
    • Domestic violence
    • Body image
    • Gang membership
    • Exit strategies
    • Moments of Change
    • Attitudes to authority

A diverse and innovativeTutorial Curriculum

Targeted intervention, Eli Anderson

“Tell your Story, Understand Others”

Graduation Ceremony


Targeted intervention at both individual and group level using positive role models and mentors for male students using the Boyhood to Manhood Foundation

  • The use of the Boyhood to Manhood Foundation for their positive behavioural change programme – a 10 week intervention programme that targets individuals and groups identified through achievement gaps.
  • The Boyhood to Manhood Foundation and their inspirational BME role model programme
  • One to one
  • Small group
  • Full Theatre presentations

1. Understanding youth weapon Violence Within


Unit 1: Respect, Self-Defence or Protection?

Unit 2: Self-Control and Emotional Intelligence

Unit 3: Authority

2. Citizenship and Responsibility

Unit 4: Personal Values and Integrity

Unit 5: Humility and Caring for Others

Unit 6: Responsibility and Accountability

3. Dealing with Emotions and Anger

Unit 7: Dealing with Adversity and Challenges

Unit 8: Don’t Stress Me

Unit 9: Dealing with Anger and Frustration

4. Respecting and Celebrating Differences in


Unit 10: Understanding Prejudice, Harassment, Stereotyping and Discrimination

Unit 11: Freedom from Bias and Stereotypes

Unit 12: Harassment

5. Weapon Crime In Context

Unit 13: The Media (The Gangster Image –Negative entertainment Rap and Imagery)

Unit 14: Gangs: Membership and Territoriality

Unit 15: What Weapon Enable Crime

6. Understanding Police, Law Enforcement and

Weapon Crime

Unit 16: The Police and the Use of Force

Unit 17: STOP and SEARCH

Unit 18: Victim and Witness/ Hate Crime


Critical success factors

  • SMT support
  • Staff buy in - lesson plans, competitions etc.
  • A multi agency approach
  • A team of managers and front line staff to be able to deal with the disclosures
  • High profile location
  • Ongoing Impact assessment
impact assessment
Impact assessment

18% reduction in reported incidents

12% improvement in Achievement gaps

8% rise in overall success rates 2012/13 - 16% from 2010/11 - 2013

40% increase in urban living related safeguarding disclosures

On-going sustainable relationship between the college, community groups and the police


The Ofsted report (February 2013) said:

  • “The College engages meaningfully with students in the design of student services which leads to high levels of satisfaction with the service”
  • “All staff work hard to ensure that a culture of respect and harmony permeates the college. The college places a strong emphasis on the promotion of equality and diversity through tutorials and other, often thought-provoking, events for students.”
  • “The college demonstrates that its interventions are being successful in improving the success of underperforming groups.”
  • “Students benefit from extensive enrichment activities which enhance their learning effectively, develop their personal and social skills well, give them greater insight into their subjects and a wider appreciation of life. For example, they experience strong and innovative activities such as theatrical productions focusing on the challenges of urban living. Students engage in frank and illuminating discussions with ex-offenders.
  • “Students receive good support and care. Pastoral support for personal needs is effective and a well-planned tutorial programme with constructive individual tutorials helps students to make good progress on their courses”

“Initial assessment is good. The college identifies the needs of students very promptly and the support team provides suitable help and attention for students quickly.  

“An excellent and extensive enrichment programme of visiting speakers, residential and field trips and visits complement the learning of students very well. It enables them to apply their knowledge outside the classroom and motivates them, broadening their horizons in a positive way.”

“The atmosphere at college is calm and welcoming and the behaviour and conduct of students are good. Students and staff are very respectful of each other. The college promotes the value of equality well and has been active in fostering a good understanding of diversity.”


The Rt Hon the Baroness Scotland QC has endorsed Arc’s work and commented:

“Your drama, your theatre, is theatre for change. These activities hold a mirror up to us and shine a light, making us see ourselves and the need for change. It shakes our complacency and moves our hearts. What could be more valuable than that? It is truly inspirational work, coming from the community and working directly with the community. It sets up the meaningful dialogue we desperately need if yet more young people are not lost to us.”

A student involve in one of the programmes said:

“It helped to get the message across in a fun but serious way. It made me take my education and life in general more seriously than before. It made me think about my actions and made me realise that I need to take responsibility.”


The Future :

  • 16 - 19 Study Programmes - opportunities
  • Centralised tutorial curriculum
  • Centralised enrichment
  • New Induction films for September 2014 - live project for Media Students
  • New Induction Play - focussing on:
  • Mental Health
  • Suicide ideation
  • Disability
  • Positive decision making
  • Further responsive innovation !!!!!!!!!!

10.30 a.m. Introduction to the College with:

  • Peter Mayhew-Smith – Principal
  • Mike Tweedale – Head of College
  • Ben Rowe – Director of Student Services Principal’s Office
  • 10.50 a.m. Introduction to the Play with:
  • Danny Kruger – Director and Founder, Only Connect Ben Rowe’s Office
  • 11.00 a.m. Play – ‘Entourage’ ACT Theatre
  • Break-out sessions