I have always believed that the best place for most young people to learn is in mainstream school. Where that is not possible, young people need high quality alternative provision that urges them forward. I am pleased that Ofsted have recognised that SW!TCH Expeditions achieves this and given us a ‘Good’ grading.
Over the last year, we have taken a decision to continue simply doing what is right for the students. We choose to not ‘put on a show’ for Ofsted, so can be sure that this rating results from the principle-based decisions we have taken. It is also testament to the hard work and genuine care displayed our staff.
During the inspection, we had to make a significant safeguarding referral. When the student realised what the consequences of the referral would be, they became very upset, storming out of the building. SW!TCH staff dealt with the disruption very skilfully and effectively. I drew the inspectors attention to the incident as I wanted them to see that the importance of what we do isn’t just in academic achievement, but also in shaping character in the students so they can deal with life’s storms.
After the incident, I was able to speak with the student concerned about the importance of forgiveness. He responded positively, understanding that forgiveness doesn’t simply mean letting someone off the hook, but that it benefits the forgiver as well. This was a major lightbulb moment – one that I hope he will carry with him throughout his life.