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North Herts Education Support Centre - Overview
We are an Outstanding (as quoted in our Ofsted report) Pupil Referral Unit based in Hitchin and Letchworth, covering the vast catchment area of North Hertfordshire and surrounding villages – we support KS3 and KS4 students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties who are at serious risk of exclusion from their mainstream school or have already been permanently excluded. These are pupils who have difficulties in conforming to mainstream expectations who are bullied or the bully, who have difficulty forming friendships or who are the leader with stacks of “street cred”! We also provide an outreach service to mainstream schools from foundation stage through to KS4. The age range at The Centre is from 11 to 16 years.
Our aim with our KS3 provision is to assess and then prepare students for their return to mainstream education. However, some do not return and either complete their KS3 education with us and then move into our KS4 programme or after statutory assessment transfer into a specialist provision.
For KS4 students our aim is to prepare students for life after compulsory education. We see our Centre as a fresh start for the students – no matter how unsuccessful they viewed themselves in education, we aim to make them want to come in….. and most of them do! They see us as a way forward, an enjoyable place to be and somewhere they are going to achieve. We offer these students an education within a positive secure environment where the partnership between staff and students is valued.
The student’s preparation for life after school focuses strongly on social skills, behaviour management and emotional support. All are a major part of our daily routine and conversations with students. PSHCE is given strong emphasis on the timetable and is also part of the minute-by-minute routines and conversations at the Centre. Social skills are being reinforced constantly within the clear boundaries/expectations that are initially introduced to the student at the admissions interview. These are reinforced all day every day particularly during breakfast club and lunch breaks.
We are of course not just about the timetabled subjects, we offer much more – residential trips, activity weeks, theatre trips, taking part in a Christmas play and craft fair. Our whole ethos is built on trusting relationships, first name terms and no school uniform. Major areas of confrontation have thus been removed. The Centre has always been concerned with the overall welfare and social skills of our students. Our Centre is very homely and offers students a friendly, caring, safe and secure environment. This is often the only stable part of our students’ lives as many are from difficult family backgrounds.
We offer a friendly supportive environment in which we are continually developing and striving for excellence, through a commitment to continuing professional development. Applicants are strongly recommended to visit the Centre prior to interview by appointment only. Please note applicants who do not receive confirmation of an interview have been unsuccessful. The Centre is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All post holders are subject to a satisfactory enhanced check from the Disclosure and Barring Service to comply with the current national regulations. North Herts ESC is an Equal Opportunities Employer.