Rivers Education Support Centre is a unique organisation that works with the children in East Herts and Broxbourne who are experiencing difficulties in mainstream school because of their social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
"I am really pleased with the support that has been provided at Rivers and I feel that this has been the best educational experience for Casey out of all his school placements. I feel Casey is much happier since being at Rivers and I think this is because people understand him there and help him feel respected and listened to."
A highly skilled team of outreach staff work in both primary and secondary schools throughout the area with children who are at risk of permanent exclusion with the aim of supporting them and the school to overcome the issues that are making school life difficult.
"When you come to Rivers, there are people you can talk to. You never feel lonely. Even when lessons get tough, the staff make them enjoyable."
At the Key Stage 3 centre in Hertford, pupils either attend for an agreed period of respite or for a longer period while next steps are arranged. Pupils are provided with a broad curriculum and barriers to education are identified. Pupils are supported to find strategies to overcome these barriers to support them to be successful in school.
"You don't know where we've come from. He was hanging around with the wrong people - we didn't know what to do. As a family, we couldn't do anymore. we grounded him, took his phone off him, but we couldn't change him. I am so grateful, I can't thank you anymore."
Once a mainstream school has been identified, pupils are supported to reintegrate by the Rivers ESC outreach team. Where appropriate, statutory assessments are conducted for pupils in Key Stage 3 to identify additional support that may be required and in some instances to support the process towards a placement in an alternative/ specialist provision.
The Key Stage 4 centre in Hoddesdon provides education for year 10 and 11 pupils. Many pupils are supported to reintegrate back into mainstream school once it has been identified that they are likely to be successful. Rivers ESC works with the Fair Access team in Hertfordshire to choose the new school placement and to plan how to meet the additional needs of the pupil who is reintegrating.
"We can't thank you enough for all of the help and support you have given to my daughter."
KS4 pupils complete a wide range of exam based and vocational qualifications to work towards future aspirations and chosen career pathways.
"She’s going to achieve so much more than she ever would have done at her previous school and she’ll be able to move on and focus on what she wants to do in life."
Some KS4 pupils may work on learning pathways which include attendance at alternative provisions supported by centre staff. Pupils have access to a broad range of subjects at a variety of levels and are guided to be highly aspirational with the courses they select. Pupil outcomes are outstanding.
"Her grades are amazing and the opportunities she has this year are phenomenal."
Rivers ESC has a highly positive, solutions focused ethos, with a strong emphasis placed on pupils making progress in behaviour as being a key factor to outstanding academic progress. There are clear boundaries of acceptable behaviour across the organisation. Inappropriate, disruptive and anti-social behaviour is discouraged by all staff in lessons and around the centres. Education takes place in a purposeful working environment.
"I said all along, she just needs people to believe in her. And staff at Rivers definitely do. It's her time to shine now."
Rivers ESC provides a safe, secure and happy environment where everyone will work hard to achieve his/her potential. Furthermore, we build pupils confidence through celebrating success and by nurturing a culture where it is ok to take chances and learn from our mistakes in order to build resilience and self-belief.
"My daughter received a postcard from her English teacher today. What a lovely gesture; it's made both her and me smile."
We aim to inspire and enable pupils to:
Become confident, independent and successful young people
Excel in learning
Engage positively with the community
Be ambitious for their futures