"As a Special Educational Needs Coordinator there is actually a lot on offer for students. But in reality much of it does not deliver what you hope it will. Often unreliable or unable to cope with the challenges you’ve set them.
"Young Gloucestershire really was different. They rolled with whatever we gave them. Un-phased by any behavioural problems or changes in group dynamics. They were able to build brilliant relationships and inspire our students.
“Initially I brought together a group of year ten girls to complete the EmpowHer programme with YG. It was a real mixed bag, with some girls who appear over confident and those who are so shy they barely speak. They were students who are often disruptive in class or fail to attend. But YG’s staff were unflappable. The students loved the experience, a year on and three groups later they are all still talking about what they achieved and wanting to do it again.
“The ten week programme improved their confidence and raised their self-esteem. It brought out the best in each student. To hear the girls talk about their achievements and to be proud of the work they have done is the best outcome for me. We have seen their attendance and behaviour improve, the girls are dealing with their emotions better and managing to keep a cool head.
“For the school it really was minimal effort to achieve amazing results. The staff at YG handled everything, we just picked the students that we felt needed extra support. We have gone on to work with groups from year seven, eight and nine. Each group has been given a wonderful and unique celebration event and I remember vividly one student who was going through a tough time telling her mum that this had been the best experience of her life…that is the real win.”
Sarah Arden, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Gloucester Academy.