Insights today from the BBC reporting on the Springwell Academy

Springwell Special Academy is  one of about 400 schools which are more commonly referred to as “pupil referral units” (PRUs).

Whilst the article by Dan Johnson focuses on “alternative techniques”, I was struck by the focus on human-centered, Relational approaches underpinning the success of the school: “What quickly becomes apparent are the small class sizes – 10 pupils, 1 teacher and 2 teaching assistants.” What is the impact?

The relationships between the children and the staff are second to none

Mr Whitaker, headteacher, notes that “the staff eat lunch and spend break times with the children. The children have to believe that the staff believe in them.”

And it wasn’t always like this: “five years ago it was impossible to get the whole school together for an assembly – the risk of bad behaviour was too high. Now, everybody files into the hall to sing Tracy Chapman’s Talkin’ Bout A Revolution, and Amy steps forward for a solo.”

A great story; a great school; a Relational school.

We’d like to hear from you?

This Autumn, Relational Schools Project will publish the results of three large case-studies into schools, from different community contexts, who adopt a Relational approach to organisational structure, curriculum design and pedagogy. Our approach is to highlight the significance of structural impact on school performance.

Would you call yourself a Relational School? Do you have teachers whose classroom relationships are second to none? Contact us…

Leave a Comment