We Care for our Youth
CACFO UK Education Centre is an Alternative Provision providing full-time education for children aged between 11-16. Our Centre has been providing this essential service to the local community since 1997 and was formally registered as an Alternative Provision with the Department for Education on 13 October 2005.
As an Alternative Provision, the Centre ensures that each student’s educational entitlement continues to be delivered while they are outside of mainstream education. Our school motto is ‘Becoming Responsible and Independent Learners‘.
Who we place
Students who have been excluded from mainstream schools can be referred to the Centre by their respective LEAs to be put through our programme of improvement that addresses their behavioural challenges and allows them to reintegrate back into mainstream education.
Students who are at risk of exclusion or are in trouble and have been placed in a Learning Support Unit can be referred to us by their schools for a period of respite. Referrals are carried forward in accordance with Service Level Agreements agreed with LEAs and schools.
CACFO UK’s founders mothers laid out a vision for the Education Centre ‘to courage academic success and social development of children, particularly, but not exclusively, of African and African Caribbean descent’. This vision was reflective of the local challenges that were seen in the education system 20 years’ ago for young Black boys, many of which remain today.
Our ethos is that we should give pupils a sound, educational experience, whilst simultaneously helping them overcome any behavioural or emotional difficulties which may interfere with the achievement of this aim. To do this, we need to operate in an atmosphere which is calm and purposeful and which encourages tolerance and respect. Regardless of race, sex, class, disability or any other consideration, every pupil will be treated with courtesy and respect. Similarly, every pupil must learn to acknowledge his or her obligation to treat others in this way.
We work with students to achieve reintegration into mainstream education in the shortest possible time. We therefore provide behavioural, counselling and other specialist support services alongside teaching students core curriculum subjects including enrichment.
We have almost 20 years’ experience in this field and a very good and successful track record with an average of 80% of students being successfully reintegrated into mainstream education.
Our success is in part due to the relatively small numbers of students that we teach at the Centre which allows students to get a lot more individual attention and support compared to being in a mainstream environment. In addition, the carefully crafted Personal Support Programme we provide for each student also makes a major contribution to overall success.
Admissions to the Centre are based on the terms of the Service Level Agreement between the placing LEA or school. All placing bodies are required to complete a detailed application form for each applicant. The Centre interviews all potential students and makes a judgment about their willingness to work towards eventual re-integration into mainstream education as a condition for offering a school place.
Parents are expected to take part in the interview and to provide strong support throughout the process. As such, their consent to the Centre acting as an alternative education provider for their child is an essential pre-requisite to a placement being considered.
At the interview, the underlying reasons for the student’s exclusion are discussed. A frank appraisal is made of the student’s behaviour and initial ideas about targets for modifying it and broader development developed.
Most students find that being offsite from mainstream schooling, even for a brief period, allows them time to reflect on what is going wrong, free from the tension and reminders around them in their own school.
In general students are taught the core subjects English, Maths and Science from the National Curriculum, and other subjects such as ICT, PE, Creative Arts, Citizenship and PSHE. This reduced curriculum allows for more pastoral work to be done with students to help address the difficulties hindering their education and relationship with school staff.
Students also have access to Counselling at the Centre to provide therapeutic intervention and to develop and implement behaviour modification strategies.
The school day
Students are expected to arrive at the Centre between 9.00 am and 9.15 am. The register is taken at 9.15am. Students arriving after 9.30 would be marked late. Registration closes at 9.40 am.
The afternoon register is taken at 2.25 pm. Students leave the premises at 2.30 pm. The Centre runs a late detention policy. Late detention is for 15 minutes and is done on the day a student is late.
All students are expected to complete a daily target book identifying their achievements and areas for further improvement.
Students are expected to attend in the uniform of the most recent secondary school they have been attending, or Black or Grey Trousers or Skirt, white shirt and tie. Students may wear trainers only for PE lessons. Students are expected to wear black shoes at all other times. Chains, bracelets, dangling earrings and similar jewellery are not allowed for reasons of Health and safety.
There is a homework timetable for evenings and weekends to ensure that they receive regular and balanced amounts of homework, the thorough and punctual completion of which is of crucial importance.
A personal planner is issued to all students in which they record all homework set. Parents are asked to check the entries, to sign the book each week, and use it to communicate with teachers. By signing the book, parents indicate that they have seen their son or daughter’s record of the homework set for that week.
Reintegration into mainstream
The aim of the Centre is to work with students to achieve reintegration into mainstream education in the shortest possible time. The Centre typically works with students in an initial phase during the first term. At the end of the phase, an assessment is made of the student’s readiness for mainstream reintegration. Parents and representatives of the placing authority take part in the review process. The overall length of stay of students is typically from six weeks to two terms.
Over the period 2003 to 2020 CACFO Education Centre admitted 311 students. 75% were reintegrated to a mainstream setting, 20% moved on to a statutory Pupil Referral Unit due to reasons of age. Only 5% of students fell outside these two groups.
My son was brought to CACFO Education Centre for persistent disruptive behaviour. CACFO was excellent in identifying the issues that my son was having with school and within a learning setting and was able to construct different ways of getting him to concentrate. I think … that was vital to him moving on successfully from here back to mainstream school.
Mrs Shabnum Rashid
How to make a referral
Click here for a copy of our Pupil Admissions Form. Once completed please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Mrs Oliver BA Cert. Ed, Dip. Ed for more information:
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 020 8771 6222
The Centre’s work is overseen by a new Governing Body created on 16 January 2018, Chaired by a CACFO UK Trustee.
Click here to see the full list of Governors. They can be contacted by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone message: 020 8127 4550