From education to employment

Students learn more about alternative education provision in practice


Education leaders of tomorrow learned about different delivery methods during a visit to a company that provides support to pupils around the world.

The group, who are studying for the MA in Education in Society, recently met the team behind Tute in Wrexham, an award-winning online education provider that offers support to pupils who may need additional help. The company invited the University of Chester students to explore the theoretical frameworks studied in their programme within the context of educational practice.

Tute’s team has extensive experience working with pupils from all phases of primary, secondary and further education and in meeting a diverse spectrum of pupils’ needs.  They support pupils studying to attain the highest GCSE and A level grades, pupils requiring alternative provision when traditional schooling has broken down or is unsuitable, pupils with special education needs or disabilities, refugee children and pupils with social, emotional or mental health needs.

The students were able to explore the Alternative Provision (AP) context, how and why students require AP and how a bespoke curriculum is formed to meet individual students’ needs. They were able to meet with Head of Teaching and Learning, Rob Hughes, the Head of Curriculum, Becky Clark and several key team members at Tute.

The group was also able to log in to a live lesson and to experience mobile cloud learning first-hand, explore the technology from a student’s perspective and consider the pedagogical implications of learning online.

Dan Finill, who is Alternative Provision and Communications Lead at Chessbrook Education Support Centre based in Hertfordshire (cited as a case study of effective practice within the recent UK green paper SEND Review: right support, right place, right time) also joined remotely. He was able to describe how education support centres such as Chessbrook lead the way by combining academic support (in person or via online provision) with a wide range of pastoral, therapeutic and holistic interventions to enable students to succeed in education, even, and particularly when, mainstream education has been unsuccessful. He was able to provide students with an overview of how learning is tailored to individual needs and ensures they can thrive.

The MA Education in Society is grounded on a strong ethos of social justice and offers postgraduate students the scope to explore a wide variety of themes and disciplines, aimed at improving the life chances, wellbeing, and attainment of individuals, particularly those from marginalised backgrounds. The visit occurred as a fieldwork opportunity for students.

The students commented on the benefits of the visit. Isimeme Precious Edobor said it was “such an enlightening experience”.

Ruth Ugbeh said: “It was really an amazing experience and educative.”

Tosin Oludimimu said: “Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to visit Tute, it was a wonderful time there, very informative and educative.”

Iradat Adesiyan Muritala added: “It will be a life-time experience. We are grateful for the warm reception from you and the other tutors.”

Sharon Smith, Impact and Evaluation Manager and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester, said: “This has been an excellent opportunity for students to connect the theory of the MA Education in Society programme with the educational issues affecting children and young people accessing alternative provision. Students were able to see for themselves how high-quality alternative provision improves the life chances, wellbeing and attainment of students when it meets their individual needs.”

Dr Paula Hamilton, Programme Leader for the MA Education in Society, said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity for our MA students. The provision of alternative education is an excellent example of inclusivity and support for young people who struggle with mainstream schooling. I would like to thank Sharon and her colleagues at Tute for accommodating our postgraduate students, especially as social justice and inclusion is at the heart of the MA Education in Society programme.”

Related Articles