The Burnley and Pendle Youth Offending Team has worked alongside staff at The Alternative School (TAS) over a number of years through our mutual involvement with young people on roll at TAS and accessing Youth Justice Services. Our experience of working alongside TAS has always been very positive.From our perspective, they have worked very successfully to engage young people who have a range of complex needs in their lives which may have previously prevented them from accessing and maintaining sustained levels of engagement in traditional education settings. In our experience of dealing with the school, members of staff have always been professional and approachable, and appear to present their work to students in a manner which young people appear to both relate to and enjoy. It is the YOT's view that TAS offer the students they serve and indeed the wider community, a specialist education service for the most difficult-to-reach young people, without which their live chances would be yet more limited than is sadly often already the case.
Martin Murray, Probation Officer, Burnley & Pendle YOT and, David Scarth, Education Welfare Representative, Burnley & Pendle YOT
Congratulations on your report. I do worry when we send our pupils offsite, but know I've nothing to be anxious about here. Without being patronising-well done to you and your staff.
Helen Nolan, Assistant Headteacher, Blessed Trinity RC College
My son struggled in mainstream schools and TAS was his last chance to get an education. He started as a year 10 in March 2015 and by July 2015 he had already gained 2 recognised qualifications with another school year to go! The staff change their teaching techniques to suit my son, on a daily basis. The home school communication is fantastic and I count every member of staff as my friend. His teacher, Beth rings me whenever I have any concerns and we work together to help her get the best out of my son. All the pupils call the teachers by their first names which, I think, makes them feel like they are equals, and that helps build their confidence. The staff know my son as well as I do and know what stresses him, and how to get the best out of him. In his last school my son suffered badly from stress and his attendance was 34% and it is now over 80%. Even the proprietor, Kirsty is available for a chat and she even rang me when she was on holiday! My son is the happiest that I have ever seen him and I do not know what we would have done it we hadn't found TAS! They are now preparing him for when he leaves them and moves on to College, which would not have happened if he had stayed in mainstream education.