Pastoral care staff referred to the therapists’ style, their sympathetic manner and way of “getting through” to youngsters.
Although the referral criteria were strictly those in danger of exclusion or disaffection, most staff felt that a certain flexibility in terms of referral was desirable – it was felt on the whole that those who benefited most were those who knew what the problem was and what they could do to get out of it. It was also felt that some children might benefit from longer-term intervention.
Pastoral care staff referred people to the therapist through the Social Inclusion co-ordinator. A member of our teamI spoke to one member of staff and the deputy head teacher who both said that the therapist was “absolutely brilliant”
“His work has had far-reaching effects in school. He has used anger-management techniques with children other than those in the social-inclusion unit. He reaches out to more and more youngsters”.
“The parent group is buzzing with the Peace of Mind™ training programme, which happens off-site in a local learning base. The work is brilliant for parents. In one family John has seen both twins and a mum. The twins’ mum has told me that she now deals with the twins in a different way and that they had a fantastic weekend. “It’s the best I can remember because I was doing it differently. There was a nicer atmosphere at home”. We have a waiting list for the new Peace of Mind™ programme”.
“Written feedback is given at the end of each intervention. These reports are available to staff and the heads of years 7 and 8 do come and look at this information”.
The deputy head said “I can’t eulogise enough about him. Both staff and students say that the work is useful. John listens to staff and students after school. In the Peace of Mind™ 10 week training programme for staff, I physically saw their stature change. They now are able to empathise with young people. Sarah, a new teacher, is thriving on it and has moved from a ‘victim’ position. She is not screaming at the children so much”.
“Members of staff have asked to go one to one with the therapist after school. One male member of staff said ‘It’s changed my life. That man has made me think’. Youngsters, parents and staff think that he’s unique”.