George

So you're in that gut-wrenching position where your child is having difficulties and SCAPS is being talked about?  Let me quote the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" at you.

DON'T PANIC.

When our child, let's call them George, was expelled from school it felt like the bottom had dropped out of our world.  I am from the generation where expulsion meant spending time at a "bad kid school" and that pretty much being the end of the world in terms of academic success.

Sound familiar?  Then let me tell you how wrong we were.

We were all invited to come and visit SCAPS and we did so with no small amount of trepidation.  However, from the moment we walked through the door we were set at ease.  The staff were friendly.  The place was clean and well equipped.  Artwork on the wall by their students showed what a focus they had on getting the best out of them and showing off their achievements.  We were very quickly informed that the circumstances that had led George to being expelled were no one’s business but ours and that George could start afresh.  George, who was obviously nervous, was spoken to as a human, rather than as some sort of criminal offender.  We were advised about how teaching worked, the educational areas covered (and those that weren't) as well as the focus on mentoring and pastoral care.  SCAPS kept communicating with us during George's time there and we learned a lot about some of the issues George was having. 

I could go on singing their praises, but the bottom line is the affect it had on George, who is now at a new school and was supported fantastically by SCAPS staff during the transition. Even during lockdown, SCAPS provided support and George was always really excited to talk to them.

Don't get me wrong.  This isn't the place for your child to live out the rest of their educational days if you can avoid it.  Mainstream school is always going to be the best option and SCAPS freely admit that.  What they do so well though is to support and prepare your child for the transition back to a mainstream school.  In this regard, I cannot fault them.

Bottom line is, I cannot thank the SCAPS staff enough for what they do and how they have helped George.  In the nicest possible way, I dearly hope George doesn't need to go back but if it were required I would agree without hesitation.

I hope this helps you in what we know must be troubling times.

George's dad.