Success Through Understanding & Developing Individual Opportunities

The Studio provides a safe and supported environment that enables students to continue to make academic progress despite not being able to attend their usual timetabled lessons

The aim is that each student will:

  • Improve attendance, where required
  • Be able to access lessons and learning resulting in an improvement in outcomes.
  • Have positive relationships with their peers and staff.
  • Attend school when they would not otherwise be able to access education.
  • Return to their timetabled lessons.

Emotional and Mental Health Referrals

Persistent absence from school, defined as less than 90% attendance incurs a significant social and psychological cost for the young people involved. Research tells us that young people who are absent from school to any extent are more likely to leave school with few or no qualifications, be out of work, suffer mental health difficulties, and become homeless.

Young people can become school avoiders for a variety of reasons however underneath all of the reasons is a high level of anxiety.

A certain amount of anxiety is a normal and natural part of growing up however some young people may experience heightened levels. When the anxiety is linked to school avoidance, the young person may experience anxious and fearful thoughts around attending school and their ability to cope with school.

Guidance produced by the Educational Psychology Service recommends:
  • intervening early
  • working with parents and school staff as well as the young person
  • working in a flexible manner paying attention to the individual case and function served by non-attendance
  • emphasising the need for rapid return to school alongside good support and adaptations within the school environment (Baker & Bishop 2015)

To help support those of our students who are showing anxiety related to school we have created
The Studio - Success Through Understanding and Developing Individual Opportunities.


To provide a safe, structured space to allow students the opportunity to re-engage with their learning. Through setting personal goals, staff in the Studio aim to support the students to develop so they achieve their full potential in their time at school while building the confidence to return to their normal lessons.

The Studio is a well equipped self contained classroom, designed to support purposeful learning.  Staff are in the room and available at all times for the students. There is a quiet space within the room where students can spend time should they need to.

Provision for students referred to the Studio is bespoke according to their individual needs, goals and Pastoral Support Plan.  Support can include all or some of the following:

  • Weekly academic coaching
  • Support with filling learning gaps with support and collaboration with SEND.
  • Time and help to reestablish “habits and mindset for learning”  through personal and inspiration projects.
  • Peer mentoring
  • Timeout/calm down space
  • A learning space for some or all of a student’s timetable*

*It must be stressed that removal of a student from part or all of their timetable is considered as a last resort.

SWAN Principles

The aim is to provide individualised support for each student based on the SWAN principles as advocated by Pooky Knightsmith:


The room and the guidelines that are followed within it are designed to help both students and their families feel safe,both physically but also emotionally.

Evidence shows that young people like rules and predictability, the Studio guidelines have been designed to make them feel SAFE.

When students feel safe they make better decisions and are able to engage in their learning .


It is designed to be an environment which helps students feel safe and is welcoming.

Students need to feel that they BELONG and staff in the Studio work hard to ensure students feel welcomed and included.


Science has proven that that when people are in a state of high alert and anxiety they release hormones such as adrenaline which causes them to go into  FIGHT | FLIGHT | FREEZE mode. That is they either become angry and aggressive, run or shut down.

None of these modes are conducive to being able to learn and engage in school.

Being in a safe environment with staff who they have a good relationship with helps students feel nurtured and better able to cope when they are feeling anxious.


Students referred on the basis of emotional need may attend the Studio for all or part of their timetable. The referral will be agreed strictly on the following basis:

  • Referral to be made via the School Inclusion Team
  • Once a referral  is agreed a Studio Registration Form is to be completed
  • Before the student starts in the Studio a meeting must take place between; the student, their parents, the College FLO and a member of Studio staff.  During this meeting all parties must sign the Studio Personal Support Plan.
    • The Studio Personal Support Plan will include conditions that students, parents and staff all agree to abide by, and regular review dates must be specified.
    • The Plan must include the student’s learning goals and how lesson content and activities will be provided.
  • Students' behaviour, pastoral support and progress will remain the responsibility of their College.  College FLO's are required to check in with their students once a week.

Medical Referrals

From time to time a student may not be able to attend their all or some of their usual lessons due to a  physical medical need.  The Studio will support students with their learning in strict collaboration with the student’s usual classroom teachers.  Staff will be on hand to support with planning and progress.

Medical referrals can be made by the School Nurse only.

Students are expected to attend as many lessons as they are able to.

This referral is subject to regular and specified reviews.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Students are expected to attend in accordance with the terms agreed in their Studio  Pastoral Support Plan. Should they be unable to do so their place in the Studio may be reconsidered at the first Review date.
  2. Students are expected to engage with the Studio staff and other students in a  polite and respectful manner.
  3. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for adhering to the actions agreed in their Studio Pastoral Support Plan.
  4. Students are entitled to progress at their own pace and without disruption, we therefore require that all students in the Studio respect it is a working environment.
  5. When in the Studio students are expected to be engaged in learning activities; off task conversations, messaging, social media, and games are not permitted in lesson times.
  6. Students will  be offered weekly academic coaching sessions with a staff member students are expected to fully engage in this process in order to set goals and move their learning forwards.