Here you will find a number of Frequently Asked Questions about Switch and the support we provide young people.
If any of your questions that are not covered here, please feel free to contact us on either firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our office on 01902 552 288.
No, whilst we are based on a school site, we are not a school due to the short-term nature and small group setting of placements. It is important for referring organisations and parents/guardians to understand that during a placement we target the social, emotional and mental health needs of children and young people and do not offer significant core curriculum learning outcomes. Referrals are part-time and must also be accessing education via school/training provider so that we ensure all the needs of the pupil are being met.
We are not a ‘school for naughty children,’ and we do not focus on ‘behaviour management.’ There is a common misconception that young people who participate in Switch are sent as a punishment for misbehaviour, this is simply untrue. We work with a wide range of young people, of which many are vulnerable, struggle with self-confidence and identity, are uncomfortable in social situations or have suffered challenging childhood experiences, such as bereavement or bullying.
We provide a safe and supportive environment with dedicated and experienced staff that help young people to discover positive ways of managing themselves and their situations. At the same time we are able to provide assessments and observations to referring schools or organisations so that they can better support the young person in the future.
We are able to support children and young people using a structured social-emotional learning programme. This includes our character and values programme, aimed at identifying and removing barriers to learning in order to help the young person flourish. Our emphasis is placed on supporting young people to make good choices in both their educational and personal lives, giving them the ability to recognise and respond to their own emotions, form effective peer and adult relationships and to persevere through difficulty.
We provide short-term part-time placements for young people who are also accessing school. We are not a school and do not deliver curriculum subjects, we only concentrate on supporting a young person’s social and emotional well-being. We will always tailor every placement to the needs of the young person and to ensure that they are getting the best support possible. A typical placement would be 18 days spread over half a term, plus outreach support with a Switch Coach.
If you are a school or local authority with the responsibility for a young person who would benefit from our support, please contact the Switch office either by email or phone, to discuss the referral process or arrange a visit to The Switch Centre.
If you are another organisation, or parent, with concerns about a young person and feel that our support would be beneficial, please get in touch with the Switch office to discuss potential pathways into our service.