Ali Williams, The Grove, Orchard Mead Academy, UK
Inclusive, supportive learning environments
The Grove is home to a designated specialist provision (DSP) for students with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH). There are 21 students working on-site and a further seven off-site. There are nine specialist staff, plus teachers from the main school at Orchard Mead Academy (OMA) also work with our students. Our students present challenging behaviour and come from some of the most deprived areas of Leicester; however, we maintain high expectations for their conduct and aspirations. The provision has had a turbulent time over the past few years. There have been changes of leadership, different names for the provision and students not receiving the correct support. Now we are a provision that is changing lives and inspiring students to reach their potential.
Our journey started in January 2021, with the aim of ensuring that students leave OMA to become integral members of so