Our Alternative Provision (The Hub)

The Toucan AP (Alternative Provision) is a unique agreement between the headteacher, authority and the family. Children will attend during school hours. We understand that a headteacher may have concerns about a child missing core subjects such as maths and English however we can create an individual plan with a school to ensure a pupil does not miss out. However what we find is that the literacy needs are usually quite significant and our work impacts positively on anything being taught in school.

We create a half term plan with targets and we are keen to link this in with school targets and assessments.

This is a specialist SEND service that is unique to the individual needs of the child and will compliment your provision and support already in place.

Toucan Education will provide all documents on request needed to fully ensure schools are reassured that the correct procedures are in place. This includes:

  • Ofsted certificate of registration
  • Health and safety report of building
  • All staff on site hold a transferable DBS
  • All staff working with children are first aid trained
  • All staff working with children have carried out up to date safeguarding training
  • On each day of the Toucan provision there will be a lead Child Protection who will report any concerns to the home school or if necessary duty social care
  • There will be a complaints procedure in place
  • Schools will have access if requested to all policies, certificates and reports based on the safety of the property and the child
  • Staff from the home school will be able to come at any time to check the environment
  • There will be a minimum of three staff present at all times

Children are brought to the Toucan AP by their parents. The sessions run 9.30am- 12noon and 12.30-3pm. If requiring a full day a packed lunch will be needed. After each session a short report detailing what has been covered will be sent to parents- we will send this to schools half termly.

We will attend one meeting per year per child in regards to their progress however we except to have continuous open communication with schools so that we can support school targets and learning.

Children will have a mid session break which will sometimes involve a walk and play in the park opposite the building – this will be authorised by the parents
of the child.

Children are registered as a code B this will avoid any absence issues as it is classed as educated off site. You can find information about this on the government website.

Attendance codes for when pupils are present at approved off-site educational activity are as follows:

Code B: Off-site educational activity

This code should be used when pupils are present at an off-site educational activity that has been approved by the school. Ultimately schools are responsible for the safeguarding and welfare of pupils educated off-site. Therefore by using code B, schools are certifying that the education is supervised and measures have been taken to safeguard pupils. This code should not be used for any unsupervised educational activity or where a pupil is at home doing school work. Schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the provider of the alternative activity notifies the school of any absences by individual pupils. The school should record the pupil’s absence using the relevant absence code.

Sometimes schools do not wish children to attend our provision which we understand but we encourage a conversation with us first to learn what we are trying to achieve. In addition – as this is a private independent company we expect parents approach school initially and give all the information we provide. We will then be happy to have a conversation with a lead person (SENDCO or headteacher). We will send policies and related information if we are asked for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will this help a child accessing the provision?

Toucan provides bespoke support with a very high ratio of staffing to ensure children receive support that is specifically catered to their needs. As we have been running over a year we can clearly show children making progress in literacy as well as in their confidence. This progress can be incremental at first and it can take at least six months to see a difference. We don’t believe this level of support would be easily accessed in school simply on a financial basis.

What ages of children do we work with an?

We work with children of both primary and secondary school ages.

What do the sessions consist of?

Each half day session includes an hour of what we call ‘basic skills’ this is time working on each child’s area of needs and may include alphabet work (rainbow arc), key word spellings, visual discrimination, letter formation, memory- short term and working, visual processing. This will be noted on the child’s personal plan which is assessed each week and written up in a short report. The rest of the session, after a break time outdoors, includes a writing session through various genres, talk for writing, mind mapping and planning. The children also read each week. Much of the writing is based on something creative, science based or general knowledge themed on geography or history, sometimes the seasons and the events that brings. For example for six weeks the children planned and developed their own creature habitats and completed descriptive writing based on this.

What else is worked on?

We also include work on understanding a diagnosis, recognising strengths and accepting any weakness. We always talk about dyslexia to help empower our children to recognise how unique they are. We work on confidence, well-being, calming techniques and strategies to help in class. We also carry out yoga and meditation. We regularly use an occupational therapist to observe and advise us on strategies for sensory and physical needs. We can do the same with speech therapy and all of these suggestions are incorporated into each child’s unique plan.

How do you manage to fit everything in?

Quite simply we have a very high staff to student ratio which enables us to provide such a high quality service.

What about maths? Will a child fall behind in other areas?

We don’t believe that children fall behind by missing a half day or full day because they are normally a year or more behind in literacy which impacts on so many other subjects. However we will happily complete maths if required by school or adapt literacy teaching to what is being taught in school. We encourage open communication. Our provision is here to be a help to teachers not create more work so we always aim to be as accommodating as possible.

We fully understand the concerns that many schools may have about children missing a small amount of the school week and the learning linked to that, however our service will work closely with schools to provide the exact support to meet the needs of the child and help support their learning back in the classroom.

Part of our aim in working with schools to complement their education is to also provide bespoke additional support for children to accelerate their progress so that they can engage on a much deeper level when in class. We use rigorous weekly teacher assessment to track and monitor progress.

Why a code B for attendance?

We have looked at other similar provisions across the country that successfully use a code B, however you may decide to record this as a medical- as linked to SEN needs. All we ask is a child is not marked as absent as they are attending Ofsted registered education led by highly qualified teachers and SEN specialists.

Who can send children to the Toucan Alternative Provision?

We have children that are placed with us by parents / guardians and funded by themselves, children that come for additional support placed by local schools, and we also have children that are placed with us by the the local educational authorities directly.

Do we need to bring a packed lunch?

In most cases for self funded full day sessions, children should bring a packed lunch with them. Children attending for half day sessions should have their lunch after leaving or before coming to the Hub.

How much does it cost?

The cost for a child to attend the Toucan Education Alternative Provision can vary depending on their needs. If the child can be accommodated in existing sessions, without any additional resources or staff needed, the standard rate is £55 per half day including VAT. If you are able to access childcare vouchers through an employer, then we can usually accept these too.

If the child needs additional resources or staffing, we’ll be happy to quote you for this on a case by case basis.

How can I pay?

Payment for self funded sessions is normally via a monthly Direct Debit, with the cost spread over the term in order to give you a fixed cost.

Schools and local authorities are able to pay on invoice.

Together we can

“I feel that without Toucan children like my son would not have improved or progressed as well, as it took me as a parent with undiagnosed dyslexia, I struggled a lot and I left school only just getting to grips with spelling. I still have trouble today, but much better then i used to be… you are an absolute god sent to the education system“

Anonymous parent

” Who knew that my child was interested in anything other than Minecraft – thank you Toucan!

You have made a huge difference to our family life, as a parent I feel more confident and not alone. “

Parent with autistic children

“It has really helped his confidence. Philippa and the team are very supportive. They first noticed his dyspraxia and helped us to get him diagnosed. He would come to Toucan every day if he could! It is somewhere that he feels at home at comfortable in his own skin. At school he doesn’t have close friends and notices where he is less able than his peers, whereas at Toucan he is encouraged to recognise and acknowledge his strengths.“

Anonymous parent

It provides a better staff to child ratio than school, which gives her the specific attention she needs. It uses multi-sensory methods to support her learning, which are both appealing and effective. It helps her understand dyslexia, describe it to others and feel confident and proud to say she is dyslexic. Toucan teachers have incorporated feedback from the OT report into how they teach her, so supporting her dyspraxia. It’s helped her see what strategies work for her. It’s helped her recognise what would help her learn better at school.

Anonymous parent

“My child has now caught up with his year group in many disciplines. Before he started he was over 3 years behind in almost all subjects. The main intervention was attending Toucan as school simply continued with methods that were not working just repeated more frequently during the school day. The day at Toucan is his opportunity to relax and to press the reset button whilst continuing his learning in a way that works for him. The staff are all fantastic with the children and R has secure relationships with all staff members.“

Anonymous parent

“My daughter learned to read ! She also learned to become more confident in herself and in her abilities and what works for her in terms of learning..“

Anonymous parent

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