After 20 years of teaching, the last 10 of which were in a specialist behaviour provision, Philippa had developed her classroom teaching to extend into leadership as a deputy head, SEN as a SENDCO and dyslexia specialist as well as being observed by OFSTED as outstanding. Keen to find ways of supporting children with additional needs, Philippa left her much loved job and started her own business to support children and adults throughout the North East.
Initially providing dyslexia assessment and consultancy for schools over the last three years the services she provides have expanded and diversified. Philippa delivers training across the country and internationally, provides assessments for adults and children, works within schools providing specialist support for children and dyslexia diagnosis. Last year Philippa held a successful training day with renowned dyslexia specialist Neil Mackay, and a very recent hugely successful day on dyscalculia. Keen to work alongside schools and families Philippa’s desire to improve provision and training in the North East for SEN has grown.
Philippa became increasingly concerned at the number of dyslexic children being put forward for tutoring and assessments. Aware that these children work extremely hard during their school day she felt for them that they then had to work even more outside of school. After a huge amount of research Philippa decided to launch the Toucan alternative provision offering an affordable option for schools and families to help support children. The options at the Toucan AP is to provide a maximum of two full day sessions – the maximum hours allowed is 17 (each one lasting 2.5 hours) led by a dyslexia specialist teacher, a teacher and two assistants with a maximum of ten children. Some sessions will include a speech and language therapist or occupational therapist and there is an option for bespoke 1:1 or 1:2 support.
Philippa now has a wealth of specialists working alongside her including occupational therapy, speech and language, child yoga, autism specialist and more. All of these specialists will be incorporated into a programme that fully meets the need of each individual child. This will provide a bespoke package that will support many children.
Toucan Education works with individual children with contracts with the local Authority. A forest school in Ryton is also used to provide a bespoke outdoor learning experience for children who find conventional teaching difficult. The goal is to work with schools and families providing a complimentary service to what they already receive and one that works in partnership. Toucan flexi school has been running since January 2020 and already we have seen unprecedented academic progress in the pupils that attend which has also been noticed by those that teach them. A holistic approach is taken in order to meet each child’s needs. Rather than children fitting into our way of working the staff work around them and their needs.
We regularly work directly with schools, local authorities, parents and businesses across the North East. Many of our assessments, consultancy services and training are available countrywide and internationally.
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