Wirral WRAP to open as registered school

Wirral WRAP is to become Wirral’s newest registered school, with doors set to open in Beechwood this Autumn, coinciding with the appointment of a new headteacher.

In September, Wirral WRAP will open its doors as an independent school, delivering a blend of therapeutic and academic interventions.

Pupils in key stages 2 and 3 will be admitted to the school for short-term assessment and support placements, with the intention of preparing them for reintegration to mainstream school or appropriate next steps.

Hayley Cunningham will lead the school, returning to the Alternative Education Provision having previously led the Maths team, and having since worked as the Headteacher of a similar organisation in Halton where she achieved an OFSTED rating of GOOD.

The innovative and targeted curriculum will be focused on helping schools and students achieve a more positive outcome from their education, whether that be a return to their parent school or alternative next steps.

Wirral WRAP was established in 2016 and quickly became Wirral’s leading Alternative Education provider. Registration with the Department for Education follows a rigorous application and inspection process by schools standards authority OFSTED.

Upon visiting the new premises and viewing plans for the next phase in the school development OFSTED commented that progress routes are clearly defined, that the progress and assessment strategy “is very thorough”, and “provides information about how leaders and staff will use assessment to understand and address pupils’ learning needs.

“Classrooms are bright and spacious and include computer facilities to support pupils’ learning. The school has an attractive space for pupils to play outside when not in lessons. Formal physical education sessions will be regularly timetabled in accordance with the school’s curriculum. These will take place at the adjacent sports centre.

“Pupils will learn about the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and inappropriate friendships. Pupils will listen to talks from visiting speakers about the dangers of gang culture, substance abuse and knife crime. Through these experiences, leaders intend that pupils will learn to make responsible, safe choices in their future lives.”

The school will provide for a wide range of children including some who have adverse childhood experiences that have affected their ability to be resilient, pupils with cognitive and learning needs; speech, language and communication needs; Autistic Spectrum Disorder; social, emotional and mental health needs; moderate learning difficulties; and specific learning difficulties. Some of these pupils may have an EHC plan.

Wirral WRAP Director Ian Kenyon said, “We have worked for nearly eight years to reach this stage. The government’s plans for developments in the area of SEND means the time was right to convert to a registered independent school, and we are delighted to have achieved and exceeded the benchmarks required. We look forward to continuing to work with Wirral and Cheshire schools and local authority departments.”

Hayley Cunningham commented, “It is with great delight I have been offered the opportunity to return to WRAP as the Headteacher of the new Independent school. I am looking forward to the challenges this will bring and hope to utilise the skill set I have gained during the past 4 years leading another independent school to a positive Ofsted outcome.

“I will be ensuring that every child is offered an outstanding education provision that is developed around them at the core of all we do. I am looking forward to getting started in September and I am relishing the new opportunity.”

Peter Silcock, the Chair of the Community Interest Company added, “As Wirral’s newest school we are really excited to be able to deliver, as we have, the very highest standard of Alternative Education. Our people are the very best around and we are delighted that the hard work of the entire team has been recognised, and we look forward to continuing to support the most vulnerable children and children who require additional support.”

Wirral WRAP’s Director of Communities, John Jerrom believes the evolution is a natural progression, “Vulnerable students and students who require additional support have always been our priority.

“Our excellent team has worked hard over the years to create a safe space where the needs of the individual student are engaged, supported, stretched and challenged within a happy environment and the voices of the students, parents/carers and staff are listened to and acted upon. I look forward to continuing our work with our new Headteacher.”

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