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Reducing exclusions in mainstream schools with Emotion Coaching

Photo by Baim Hanif -

ReconnectED is a social enterprise, not for profit community interest company (CIC) set up to help young people at risk of exclusion to flourish in mainstream school.

ReconnectED recognises that young people facing adversity have very complex lives and some need intensive support to improve their emotional and behavioural wellbeing. Emotion Coaching is one of the primary tools in ReconnectED's Sheffield programme.

Excluded young people are amongst the most vulnerable in society.

Approximately 8,000 young people are permanently excluded from mainstream schooling each year. The estimated costs of exclusion are £370,000 per young person in lifetime education, benefits, healthcare and criminal justice costs - which amounts to nearly £3 billion, on average, for each year's cohort of permanently excluded pupils.

To address this problem, ReconnectED has established a pilot project in Sheffield - an area considered a 'cold spot' for the outcomes for young people excluded in school.

ReconnectED provides training, support and oversight of a trauma-informed Emotion Coaching programme to support young people facing adversity in order to enhance their engagement in school and learning. It aims to address the root causes of exclusion, strengthen the wellbeing and resilience of young people and facilitate change within the education system. The primary aim is to improve young people's wellbeing and emotional regulation so that they are better able to learn.

ReconnectED differs from other interventions in a number of ways:

  • ReconnectED coaches are recruited from the young people's communities because they understand the issues the young people face.

  • Coaches are trained in Emotion Coaching and Trauma Informed Care and are supervised by an experienced Emotion Coaching Practitioner.

  • ReconnectED provides an intensive approach - coaches are embedded within the school and meet with the young people daily during term-time, working with schools, home and stakeholders.

The programme aims to help up to 100 young people at risk of exclusion in Sheffield to flourish in mainstream school in its first 3 years (from September 2022 - August 2025) before expanding nationwide.

As well as increasing social mobility for young people - re-engagement with learning, increased attendance, and punctuality - leading to better life chances, ReconnectED is aiming for a positive ripple effect with teachers better able to help all young people learn and flourish.

Over three years, based on a goal of 90% reduction in exclusions and considering the potential costs of exclusions mentioned above, ReconnectED would contribute towards saving society approximately £33.3 million in exclusion costs.

With values of compassion, integrity, connection, openness and optimism, ReconnectED hopes its programme will generate a ripple effect well beyond Sheffield, too.

You can find out more about ReconnectED here:

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