A Decade of Transformation

A Journey to Educational Excellence and End of Year recap 2023

As we approach the end of another remarkable year at The Write Time (TWT), it’s hard to believe that January 2024 marks our 10th anniversary – a monumental milestone for our community. Reflecting on our journey, it’s incredible to see how TWT has evolved from its early days as a mentoring programme, dedicated to supporting schools across London and ensuring children remained engaged in mainstream education, steering clear of NEET status. Back then, my vision didn’t include establishing a school or provisions for adults.

Our mission is clear

As a Social Enterprise, we deliver high-quality education and support, breaking barriers for individuals to thrive in challenging environments. Our values — Quality, Support, Education and Environment — guide our commitment to excellence and positive impact.

Our success over the past decade is indebted to the unwavering support of key individuals. A first thank you goes to Amanda, our co-founder and Financial Director, without whom none of this would have ever been possible.

Paul and Moira have been instrumental every step of the way. Without their dedication, we wouldn’t have attained independent school status or become the first William Glasser Quality School in the UK. Their commitment to TWT is truly commendable, as they generously invest their time to help navigate our journey.

The evolution of TWT Independent School into a Special School has brought about significant changes, emphasising long-term placements for students with EHCPs.

Suk, our longest-serving staff member, has been a steadfast pillar of support. Her contributions have been invaluable, particularly in growing our adult provision. She played a pivotal role in shaping the direction of our adult programmes, aligning with our strategic objective of providing comprehensive support to all TWT parents.

Through mentoring and activities emphasising the four secondary skills, Choice Theory (CT), experiential learning, Learning Zone, and the 8 Personal Social Skills, we have developed the Take Charge Programme based on CT principles. This initiative is now part of a national research project funded by the Department of Work and Pensions, with Moira overseeing the evaluation to assess its impact on reducing parental conflict for SEND children and their families. We aim to provide and expand mentoring, education, training, and personal and social development programmes across South London.

The school itself remains our greatest challenge, yet I consider it the heart of what we do. Here, we have the freedom to instil the values and ethos that I believe are crucial. Unconstrained by contracts, government regulations, or external pressures, we authentically promote TWT values within our school community—comprising staff, children, parents/carers, commissioners, therapists, and external providers. A recent visit to the school filled me with pride, humility, and joy as I witnessed the positive interactions, the delivery of Christmas hampers, staff camaraderie, and even a bit of friendly competition at the pool table. While one can articulate what a school should look like on paper, observing it in action is a profoundly different experience. Kevan, Lana, and our new SLT member, Charlotte, have been instrumental in driving these positive changes, and your enthusiastic response is truly commendable.

Looking ahead to the next year, our Governors and SLT, will convene in early January to lay the foundations for the next three years (2024-2027). This endeavour will be a collaborative team effort, focusing on elevating our standards in staff appreciation, provision quality, showcasing our identity, evaluating our work, and expanding our offerings.

As we adhere to our principles, TWT will continue offering alternative personal development opportunities, partnering to prevent school exclusions, providing necessary staff training, collaborating with government initiatives, and maintaining high standards.

Here’s to a bright future and continued success at TWT!

Some curiosities about our journey

Why was TWT first established?

Having worked for several big charities at a director level, I started to become disillusioned with what we were doing. I didn’t feel like the focus was always on the cause and there was often resistance to change. During my career, I learned that Education and Personal Development were equally important while the combination of the two was often missing in schools and youth provision settings. I wanted to create something that combined the two equally to ensure we achieve better, sustainable outcomes.

Why is it called “The Write Time”?

The decision to name this reality “The Write Time,” with its specific spelling, stems from the phrase people commonly use during significant moments, while the intentional spelling aligns with the perception of the organisation having an educational association.

From Mentoring programme to Independent school: expanding our reach to meet community needs

In our initial year, several schools approached us, expressing a desire for expanded engagement beyond mentoring. They sought increased full-time provision for their students, leading to the establishment of the school, designed with the primary goal of reintegrating students into mainstream education.

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