Fitting the system, or systems that fit?

This cartoon (courtesy of Sara Zimmerman, Unearthed Comics – originally posted here) is a great illustration of the challenges that we are working to help young people overcome.

In common with One Northern Devon, we believe that for young people with additional needs to be successful, we need to build our structures and systems so that everyone can fit and everyone can achieve. This is a key component of our Relational Practice, building upon Trauma Informed understandings to ensure that all aspects of our work are welcoming to young people, regardless of their previous life experiences.

It’s important to highlight that placing our students at the centre of their education doesn’t mean anything goes – it isn’t about saying ‘yes’ every time. Valuing relationships does not mean being permissive and avoiding conflict in the face of behaviour that is harmful. We believe that if a relationship is authentic, it will be tested. When this happens, our emphasis upon Restorative Practice means we all work to restore and repair; rather than talking about students ‘fitting’, our aim is to ensure they Belong.


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