Developing outreach solutions together

In partnership with Thurrock Council and local mainstream school leaders, together we have developed and trialled approaches across the continuum of AP outreach, delivering flexible, tailored, support to achieve the best reintegration opportunities for learners.

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Leaders at Olive AP Academy - Thurrock have developed a successful partnership approach to AP outreach in the area over a number of years and have been at the forefront of developing the trust’s AP outreach model in partnership with Thurrock Council, and in alignment with the DfE’s SEND and AP Improvement Plan (2023).

This long-term partnership has led to the delivery of programmes across all aspects of our outreach continuum:

Continuum for OA Th Developing solutions in partnership case study
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Key components for success

Through a strong working partnership, we have successfully addressed a number of challenges which have contributed to the success of our AP outreach provision in Thurrock.

  • Early engagement

Engagement is needed from an early stage and, in our experience, this is best achieved as part of a formal partnership. AP outreach staff can then support whole-school inclusion strategies as well as referrals into early intervention.

  • AP outreach adapted to needs of students / flexible offer

Our AP outreach programmes are always informed by insightful needs assessment with students and with the lead member of staff referring from the home school, or Thurrock Council.

  • Needs assessment and timely referral

Pre-referral assessment with the home school has been essential to enable us to tailor a programme of support that suits each student’s needs. The assessments offer a baseline of each student’s wellbeing needs as well as their learning needs, enabling us to build support around the individual.

  • Staffing model

As our AP outreach provision has developed, we have refined our staffing model and found that an experienced teacher of AP with leadership skills is key to oversee liaison with the home schools. The individual AP outreach sessions are delivered by an AP teacher and potentially joined by an experienced counsellor and/or specialist instructor.

  • Location

Early part-time AP outreach programmes were based at the OA-Th academy. However, the change to routine and different students on site on different days was found to be disruptive. To remedy this, we have partnered with a local outdoor activity centre so there is now flexibility for AP outreach programmes to be delivered off-site or on-site, depending on the needs of the students.

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Outreach in action

Some of the AP outreach programmes we have delivered include:

  • Programme 1

A two-day a week programme for female, KS4 students disengaged from their learning and at risk of exclusion. The home school funded a year’s part-time AP outreach of a health and beauty programme together with tailored English and maths. The AP outreach supported the students to have confidence in their goals for post-16 learning and to catch-up with core aspects of the curriculum.

OA Th case study 1
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  • Programme 2

A one-term, two-day a week programme for year 7 and 8 boys who were making limited progress with learning, forming few relationships and initiating conflicts.

The programme involved activities planned using the ‘Resilience Doughnut’ to develop students’ self-confidence and ways to deal with difficult situations and build a better understanding of choices and consequences.

As a result of involving families in the initial needs assessment, two of the families agreed to be referred onto support programmes while their sons were on AP outreach.

OA Th case study 2
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  • Programme 3

Following a triage process, an offer of full-time education for up to 15 students who had been excluded and out of education for a significant time.

The AP outreach aimed for students’ learning to be back on-track with clear goals and next steps for post-16 study. Students participated in practical activities to support relationship building, teamwork and development of social skills, which had a positive impact on their re-engagement in formal learning with a core curriculum of maths, English and science.

OA Th case study 3b
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The impacts

Through these three AP outreach programmes, we have supported 27 students.

Outcomes for pupils on programme 1

  • All students reintegrated full-time to their home school.
  • During the AP outreach programme, they successfully achieved BTEC Level 1 Hair and Beauty.
  • The pupils grew more confident in their goals for post-16 and all successfully transitioned to FE college.

Outcomes for pupils on programme 2

  • Five pupils reintegrated full-time to their home schools, with improved behaviour and attendance.
  • One pupil transitioned to Olive AP Academy - Thurrock and is progressing well, working on BTEC Level 1 in Construction and achieved further AQA awards in skiing and climbing.
  • All six pupils achieved AQA awards in sailing and water safety during their time on the AP outreach programme.

Outcomes for pupils on programme 3

  • All of the Year 11 students achieved their maths and English awards and two achieved further GCSEs.
  • All of the Year 11 pupils successfully transitioned onto Level 3 courses at FE college.
  • Five pupils have transitioned to Year 11, full-time at Olive AP Academy - Thurrock and are on course to achieve awards in English and maths plus other exams

Collette Hunnisett

Executive Headteacher, Olive Academies

We value the partnerships we have with mainstream schools in Thurrock. As well as supporting the needs of the students, we provide training to staff and grow stronger partnerships with parents. Students play an important part in identifying the areas of success, so have ownership of their journey and outcomes.

For more information about our AP outreach work in Thurrock, or any aspect of Olive Academies' AP outreach offer, please contact us:

T: 01708 982624


Our commitment

In line with the DfE’s SEND and AP Improvement Plan, Olive Academies is committed to working with local mainstream schools to help them better support pupils before exclusion is considered.

Find out more about our approach